New Pentagon Press Secretary Named

File Photo: Peter Cook of Bloomberg Television, left, interviews former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on April 3, 2014, in Honolulu. (Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/ Defense Department)
File Photo: Peter Cook of Bloomberg Television, left, interviews former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on April 3, 2014, in Honolulu. (Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/ Defense Department)

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Friday that Peter Cook, most recently Bloomberg TV's chief Washington correspondent, would be taking the job formerly held by Rear Adm. John Kirby as the Pentagon's press secretary.

"Peter's years of experience in the national media, coupled with his personal integrity and non-partisan approach, make him an ideal fit to represent this institution during a crucial period for our nation and our military," Carter said in a statement.

Kirby, who was press secretary under former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, had wanted to remain on the job, but Carter decided he wanted a civilian in the post. Kirby retired from the Navy and is now at the State Department as chief spokesman for Secretary of State John Kerry.

Cook, 47, did not serve in the military, and his journalism career has focused mainly on business and government. He has reported from the Pentagon occasionally in previous assignments for NBC News and MSNBC, according to a Pentagon statement.

Cook is a graduate of Duke University and Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. He has been co-anchor of Bloomberg's morning TV reports since 2003 and before that was host of Bloomberg's "Money and Politics" program.

Pentagon officials declined to estimate when Cook might do his first press briefing from the podium at the Pentagon. Since Carter became defense secretary in February, the Pentagon press corps has relied mainly on the informal briefings provided by Army Col. Steve Warren, who will soon be leaving for another assignment.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@military.com.

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