Egypt's President Morsi on Sunday ordered the resignation of Sami Hafez Anan, the army's deputy chief of staff and seen as the right-hand man to the also-retired powerful Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi.
The 63-year-old, whose background is in military air defense, was appointed second in command of the army following the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak by popular protest last year, reported Al Jazeera.
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With Anan's resignation, the United States' military lost a "favorite," according to the New York Times, describing him as "a crucial link for the United States as it navigates the rocky course ahead with Cairo."
Born in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, Anan joined the army in 1967 and "rose through the ranks," said Al Jazeera. In 1990, he served as Egypt's defense attaché in Morocco and then, from 2001-2005, he led the military's air defense command.
Anan has been politically active in the month's following Mubarak's overthrow, according to Al Jazeera, with Anan present at a number of high-profile diplomatic meetings. He also visited polling station's during the country's recent presidential elections.
Morsi, who announced Anan's retirement on Sunday, has replaced him with Lieutenant-General Sidki Sayed Ahmed, said Al Jazeera.