Three more veterans have joined President-elect Donald Trump's defense transition team as the future Pentagon continues to take form.
Retired Navy Rear Adm. Kenneth Braithwaite II; former Assistant Air Force Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Craig Duehring, who retired from the service as a colonel after 28 years; and retired Marine Lt. Col. Dakota Wood have been added to the Defense Department "landing team," Trump's transition team announced on Tuesday.
Wood was the principal author of a review for the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank that recommended increasing the size of the U.S. military. Trump has endorsed the review's recommendation to increase the active-duty Army and Marine Corps to 50 brigade combat teams and 36 infantry battalions respectively.
The review also recommended that the Navy grow to 350 ships and the Air Force’s fleet of tactical fighter/attack aircraft expand to 1,200.
While in the Marine Corps, Wood took part in the planning for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. He retired in 2005 after 20 years of service.
Braithwaite graduated from the Naval Academy in 1984 and became an aviator in 1986, flying anti-submarine missions in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. In 1988 he was redesignated as a public affairs officer, according to his official Navy biography.
Braithwaite retired from the Navy in 2013 as vice chief of information, head of the Navy Reserve public affairs program and adjunct adviser to the Navy Reserve Force commander.
Duehring is a decorated combat pilot who flew more than 800 missions in the Vietnam War and served as a forward air controller in Laos for covert operations, his official Air Force biography says. He served in the Air Force from 1968 to 1996, during which he flew more than a dozen types of aircraft and logged more than 1,200 flight hours in the A-10 Thunderbolt II.
Duehring served on the transition team for former President George W. Bush and later became acting assistant defense secretary for reserve affairs before serving as assistant Air Force secretary for manpower and reserve affairs from 2007 to 2009.
Meanwhile, several retired four-star generals, including Jim Mattis, John Kelly and David Petraeus have all met with Trump. Mattis, a retired Marine, has been mentioned as a possible defense secretary nominee. Kelly, also a retired Marine, could be nominated to be the next secretary of state or homeland security. And Petraeus, the retired Army general and former CIA director, is in the running to be secretary of state.
"It has been a privilege even to be considered," Petraeus told Military Times on Wednesday.
Petraeus led U.S. troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, making him the first person to command two separate theaters since the Korean War. He is also a top graduate of Ranger School and the Command and General Staff College course.
He resigned as director of the CIA in 2012 after admitting to having an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. He pleaded guilty in 2015 to mishandling classified information for allowing Broadwell to look at his notes, but no classified information was used in his biography.
Kelly could not be reached for comment. After his son, Marine 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, was killed in Afghanistan, he has delivered passionate speeches about dealing with loss, becoming a source of inspiration for families of the fallen.
When he served as head of U.S. Southern Command, he clashed with President Obama over plans to release detainees from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Speaking to Military Times in January, Kelly said he maintained dossiers compiled by the intelligence community on all of the detainees.
"There are no innocent men down there," he said.
Mattis declined to comment on Wednesday. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has called him "one of the finest military officers of his generation and extraordinary leader who inspires a rare and special admiration of his troops."
"He is a forthright strategic thinker," McCain said in a Nov. 21 statement. "His integrity is unshakable and unquestionable. And he has earned his knowledge and experience the old-fashioned way: in the crucible of our nation's defense and the service of heroes."