Woman Who Inspired ‘Top Gun’ Named Deputy Defense Secretary

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Top Gun movie poster, Christine Fox

The former Pentagon official who inspired the character played by Kelly McGillis in the film Top Gun has been named as the acting deputy Defense Secretary by current Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel while he continues looking for someone to occupy the position permanently. Christine Fox is now the most powerful woman working in the Pentagon.

Hagel made the announcement on Tuesday, saying that Fox is a “brilliant defense thinker and proven manager.” Fox has lately been working with the Pentagon on issues related to budget cuts caused by sequestration. “As a key leader of the Strategic Choices and Management Review, she helped identify the challenges, choices, and opportunities for reform facing the department during this period of unprecedented budget uncertainty,” Hagel said.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Fox served as inspiration for the flight instructor and Tom Cruise love interest Charlie in the 1986 Jerry Bruckheimer film Top Gun. Fox worked as a civilian flight school instructor in the mid-Eighties.

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