Changing the DOD Succession Line:

Gordon England may only be Acting Deputy Defense Secretary (Congress is still hung up on his nomination), but President Bush just named him as first in line at DOD should something untoward happen to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. A White House memo announcing the new succession rule states that the provision covering the Acting Deputy will cease to apply should the President appoint a real deputy. The executive order also lists undersecretaries for intelligence, policy, and acquisition as No. 2, 3, and 4, respectively. The last succession order placed the Secretary of the Army at No. 2, but now makes the individual in that post No. 5. The Air Force Secretary moved up the list, beating out Navy, for the No. 6 spot.