In search of a successor for the Pentagon's 'Yoda'

Andrew W. Marshall, retiring director of the Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment, known in the Pentagon as "Yoda".
Source: Department of Defense (L) | LucasfilmLtd. (R)

Since Andrew Marshall founded the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment in the early '70s, he's been the only person to head the think tank. But at the age of 93, Marshall—nicknamed "Yoda" after the sage extraterrestrial character from "Star Wars"—is retiring, according to the Washington Post.

The Defense Department is recruiting for a replacement "Yoda" to fill the director position, someone who can continue Marshall's work in forecasting potential crises and developing responses to them. A Defense Department online posting said the primary function of the Net Assessment director will be to "develop assessments that compare the standings, trends, and future prospects of U.S. military capability and military potential with that of other countries."

The salary starts at $121,957 and can go up to $183,300 a year. Recruitment for a new director ends Feb. 2.

The Net Assessment group skirted the chopping block in 2013 due to budgetary cutbacks at the Pentagon. Marshall and his team were able to avoid the axe, but his director position was adjusted to report to the undersecretary of defense for policy, rather than directly to the defense secretary.

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