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Oilman Touted for Navy Job

From a Times Staff Writer

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has asked President Bush to nominate Colin McMillan, an oilman and former defense official, as the next secretary of the Navy, defense officials said Tuesday.

McMillan, a former Marine and a defense official in the first Bush administration, runs Permian Explorations Corp. of New Mexico. McMillan might have to divest some of his holdings to meet ethics standards, officials said.

If nominated and approved by the Senate, the 67-year-old resident of Roswell, N.M., would take the top civilian job in the Navy, which has been vacant since Gordon England left in January to go to the Department of Homeland Security.

The move marks the latest in ongoing shifts among the chiefs of the armed services, as Rumsfeld seeks to remake the military in part by moving like-minded officials into top jobs. On April 25, Rumsfeld asked Army Secretary Thomas White to quit, and he is expected to move the current Air Force secretary, James Roche, to oversee changes in the structure of the Army, Pentagon insiders said.

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