Statement by Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro, USMC (Ret.), Chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association on Esper, Miller


Secretary Mark Esper has performed the “nearly impossible job of the Secretary of Defense” with great distinction and success. He leaves the department with the respect and admiration of the women and men in uniform and their families and that of our allies and partners. He has worked with our industry to ensure our warfighters are never in a fair fight, while always mindful of our taxpayers. He has always led from the front and taken the right course, no matter the consequences. 

Deputy Secretary David Norquist, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and most key Pentagon military and civilian senior leaders remain in place to ensure continuity of effort within the Department of Defense. The procedures and regulations within the department ensure that the ball is never dropped.  

Executive branch transitions are complex, and their smooth execution is vital to our democracy, especially when national security matters are at stake. We look forward to working with acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller and fostering bipartisan support for a smooth DoD transition for our warfighters, the men and women of the defense industrial base, and ultimately, our nation.

About NDIA

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America's leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA and its members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training, and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations, and events. For more information, visit