Vice Adm. John M. Poindexter, who resigned as President Reagan's national security adviser for his role in the Iran- contras scandal, has accepted demotion to rear admiral and will stay in the Navy, the Pentagon said today.
Poindexter will be assigned to the long-range planning staff of the chief of naval operations, Adm. Carlisle A. H. Trost, where his "unique experience" at the White House will assist the Navy in strategic plans, Navy Secretary John F. Lehman said.
"It was entirely his decision," Lehman told reporters. "We think it's the right decision."
Pentagon spokesman Robert Sims announced Poindexter's decision 90 days after the admiral's resignation from the National Security Council. Under Navy regulations, a decision had to be made within 90 days whether to retain Poindexter as a three-star admiral, in which case his nomination would have been presented to the Senate for confirmation.
Without a nomination, he had to revert to the position of rear admiral.
There is little likelihood that the Senate would have confirmed Poindexter as a vice admiral because of his handling of the Iran affair. Neither Poindexter nor his top assistant at the NSC, Marine Lt. Col. Oliver L. North has been charged with a crime.