A retired Defense Department worker who was affectionately dubbed the "Yoda" of the Pentagon died Tuesday.
Defense News reported that Andy Marshall, who retired at age 93 after running the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment for more than four decades, passed away at age 97.
Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee and announced Marshall's death during a hearing on Tuesday.
"I can think of fewer people who have had a bigger impact of focusing our defense efforts, our national security, in the right direction than Mr. Marshall," Thornberry said, Defense News reported. "He has been before our committee I don't know how many times over the years. So I wanted to note that passing, but also to honor his memory because he made such a difference."
The Office of Net Assessment looks at the future of the U.S. military compared to other nations. Known as an internal think tank at the Pentagon, the office produces reports on its findings. It was created in 1973 by President Richard Nixon.
Marshall was the first director of the office and served in his role for 42 years before his 2015 retirement. According to a 2015 Foreign Policy profile, Marshall's colleagues nicknamed him "Yoda," a reference to the iconic "Star Wars" character. He was known as one of the top strategic thinkers in the entire government during his lengthy career that spanned eight presidents.
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