MARINE BARRACKS WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he insisted on being a speaker at the retirement Thursday of Gen. John “Jay” Paxton, the longest serving assistant commandant of the Marine Corps in the service’s history.
Carter, who collaborated with Paxton on the Pentagon’s effort to counter the improvised explosive device threat to American troops in Afghanistan, said the 42-year officer was tireless and undeterred when it came to caring for and protecting his troops.
“He brought a field commander’s operational style to the E-Ring of the Pentagon, of all places, focusing on identifying solutions or assigning responsibility,” Carter said. “Answers like ‘It can’t happen,’ or ‘It’s too costly,’ or ‘It will take years,’ weren’t acceptable. Jay’s answer was always, ‘Figure it out and come back to me.’ “..”