PARCEL RETURN SERVICE, DC, Mar 06, 2013 — A major newspaper covering the military is reporting John McHugh may step down as Secretary of the Army.
The Army Times wrote Monday that McHugh is "expected" to leave the top post before the end of President Obama's second term. But it offered nothing more specific. The paper cites a source in the Defense department who says Army Undersecretary Joseph Westphal is a top candidate to replace McHugh.
McHugh is a native of Pierrepont Manor in Jefferson County. He was a North Country Congressman for almost 17 years. He was a major architect of the massive growth at Fort Drum, attracting millions in federal spending to revamp the base's infrastructure through the 1990s and 2000s.
President Obama's tapping of the Republican McHugh in 2008 was a thread in the much-hyped narrative that Obama was assembling a so-called "team of rivals."
McHugh is credited with leading the Army toward a stronger focus on mental health issues, like suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder. According to Army Times, he's also known for bringing a lighter mood to the gruff halls of the Pentagon.