The deputy chief of staff to the secretary of defense has resigned, a US defense official told CNN on Thursday, becoming the latest official to depart the Pentagon amid a purge that began Monday when President Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
Alexis Ross has resigned, the official said, joining now-former chief of staff Jen Stewart and the top Pentagon officials overseeing policy and intelligence, all three of whom had submitted their resignations Tuesday.
Stewart was replaced by Kash Patel, who most recently served as senior director for counterterrorism at the White House National Security Council and is seen as much more ideological and closely linked to Trump.
Esper was replaced by Christopher Miller, who was the director of the National Counterterrorism Center.
Among those who also assumed new roles at the Department of Defense this week are controversial retired Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, who moved into the Pentagon's top policy role, taking over the duties of James Anderson, who resigned Tuesday.
Tata had been nominated to be under secretary of defense for policy this summer but his nomination was withdrawn because of bipartisan opposition.
Retired Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Kernan, the under secretary of defense for intelligence, also left his position, according to another defense official. It was not immediately clear if Kernan had resigned or was fired, but his departure has been accelerated.