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Miles Hutchinson is a fictional character on the NBC television series The West Wing, played by actor Steve Ryan. Hutchinson has served as the Secretary of Defense to President Josiah Bartlet throughout his two terms in office.
- First Episode: 4-14: Inauguration: Part One
- Most Recent Episode: 7-09: The Wedding
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Secretary Hutchinson was first mentioned in the Season One episode "A Proportional Response", and continued as an unseen character for the next three seasons. He was frequently mentioned alongside Berryhill, the similarly offscreen Secretary of State.
In the Season Two episode "Two Cathedrals", he was mentioned as being a possible presidential candidate, presuming that Bartlet chose not to run for re-election, which seemed likely for the moment.
He advised the President on the hostage situation in Haiti, although he was clearly never as influential as Admiral Percy Fitzwallace or National Security Advisor Dr. Nancy McNally. However, he has always been more influential than Berryhill.
Hutchinson made his first onscreen appearance in the Season Four episode "Inaugaration: Part One," where he clashed with the President. He was said to disrespect Bartlet for never having served in the military.
Following the retirement of Admiral Fitzwallace, and the increased absence of Dr. McNally, Hutchinson's relative influence in the Situation Room increased dramatically, and he advised President Bartlet on various crises in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bolivia, and Iran.
Hutchinson has more than once come into conflict with rookie White House Chief of Staff C.J. Cregg, over, for example, the handling a crisis involving stolen Georgian nuclear material, and whether or not to use a secret space shuttle to rescue astronauts from the damaged International Space Station. Additionally former White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry and Hutchinson also clashed during McGarry's tenure on more than one occasion. One notable case is over the potential deployment of troops to Equatorial Kundu, and disagreement over the accuracy of the force depletion report that Hutchinson provided.