I hear you, and while that is one option...they would have just rotated Rodriguez in from jump street. Remember when they relieved McCrystal? They put Petraeus right in and left him there until he was nominated for CIA...by the way that kept him from running for president. I admit it's all speculation, but remember this: Ham being in DC does not keep him away from his communications with his HQ. And, gives him immediate access to his boss. Technically speaking, he works directly for the President with communications through the SECDEF.