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Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper sends first memo to troops as Pentagon boss



New Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper on Monday sent to a memorandum to all Pentagon employees, laying out the Defense Department's "path forward."

In the memo, titled "Initial Message to the Department," Esper wrote, "As we continue to advance the nation's security, let me reaffirm our path forward.

Esper was named Trump last Tuesday after Patrick Shanahan retired from his nomination.

WHO IS MARK ESPER, TRUMP'S NEW ACTING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE PICK?

Esper, 56, has served as the 23rd Secretary of the United States Army since Nov. 1

7, 2017. His duties included the recruitment, organization, training, National Guard, Reserve Soldiers, Department of the Civilians and their families, according to his Pentagon biography.

Esper said Monday the department's priorities would remain "unchanged and everything the department did" should support its stated objectives. "

" We used to mutually reinforce lines of effort ". They included building "a more lethal force, as well as reforming the department for greater performance and affordability."

In his memo, Esper explained that building a more lethal force would be the " Surest way to deter adversary aggression "and included fully preparing for war. He wrote that it's important to "continue to build readiness to fight" while "modernizing key capabilities for future conflict."

Esper explained that U.S. allies and partners "

TRUMP PUTS ARMY SECRETARY He received his commission in the infantry and completed Ranger and Pathfinder training.

He served on active Duty for a decade. In the early '90s, he served with the 101st Airborne Division in the Gulf War. He later commanded airborne rifle company in Europe. “/>

Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrives at the Pentagon on Monday. “/>

Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrives at the Pentagon on Monday.
       (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

Following his service on active duty, he served in both the Virginia and District of Columbia's National Guard and Army Reserve. He retired in 2007.

"Having been served in the regular Army, National Guard, and Reserve, I understand that the sacrifices of our Service Members, Civilians, and their families make this great country," Esper wrote in the memo ,

"Soldiers, sailors, airmen marines and civilians to stay focused on their mission and always do the right thing" . "

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" Together, we want to remain the most ready and capable military force in the world, which is what our nation expects and deserves, "Esper said.

Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson and Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.


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