Assistant Secretary of Defense
Manpower and Reserve Affairs
Mr. Martin is performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. In this role he is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness on all matters related to civilian and military personnel policies, reserve integration, military community and family policy, and total force manpower and resources. He also oversees the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Defense Commissary Agency. Mr. Martin’s wide-ranging portfolio covers the entire life cycle of a service member from recruiting and accessions through casualty and mortuary affairs. He develops policies, plans, and programs for the Total Force and oversees career lifecycle management for military and civilian personnel. Additionally, he is responsible for developing policy and overseeing quality of life programs for Department of Defense personnel and their families to include commissaries and exchanges; morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR) programs; family advocacy and spouse employment; the chaplaincy; and child and youth services.
Prior to this assignment, Mr. Martin served as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly for 17 years. In this capacity, he chaired the House Homeland Security, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee and co-chaired the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s Task Force on Behavioral Health Services for the Military & Their Families. He led numerous successful efforts to pass legislation improving the quality of life for Service members and their families, including in the areas of spousal licensing portability, access to health care, child custody, voting, and enrolling the state in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.
At the appointment of the Secretary of Defense, he served two terms as a member of the Reserve Forces Policy Board where he worked on strategies, policies, and practices designed to improve and enhance the capabilities, efficiency, and effectiveness of the reserve components. Mr. Martin was appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to serve as the Chair of the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission, responsible for advising the Governor and the General Assembly on all matters affecting the state’s military installations and military families.
Mr. Martin is a retired Army Reserve soldier with service as a judge advocate and a field artillery officer. He served in Afghanistan in 2002-03.
Mr. Martin received a B.A. in history from Davidson College, a J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law where he was a Note Editor of the North Carolina Law Review, and an LL.M. in military law with a concentration in international and operational law from the Judge Advocate General’s School. His awards include the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, the National Guard Association of the United States Charles Dick Medal of Merit, and the N.C. Disabled American Veterans Legislator of the Year.