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May 26, 2024

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to undergo nonsurgical procedure, Deputy Kathleen Hicks will assume control

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is scheduled to undergo a medical procedure. The procedure is non-surgical and routine; however, the Defense Department must follow the line of succession during his brief absence. Therefore, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks will assume the responsibilities of Defense Secretary while Austin is in recovery. As per protocol, in the event of the Defense Secretary's incapacitation or absence, the Deputy Defense Secretary is the first in line to assume the role's responsibilities.