Workers are erecting bleachers and the reviewing stand in preparation for the January inauguration of Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. (Steve Helber/AP)

RICHMOND - Gov.-elect Ralph Northam on Tuesday appointed Carlos Hopkins to stay on as Virginia's Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs.

Hopkins has been serving in that role since Sept. 1. He was appointed by outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe to fill out the term of retired Adm. John Harvey Jr., who left the administration to take a position with the federal Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria.

Hopkins, who serves in the Virginia Army National Guard, had been McAuliffe's Counsel to the Governor and before that was Richmond's deputy city attorney.

He is a graduate of the Citadel - a fact that Northam, as a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, made sure to note in making the announcement. "We have to realize, don't we, that not everybody can get into VMI," Northam joked to the department staff.

Northam is building a cabinet that so far is heavy on names from the current administration. He is keeping Suzette Dinslow in her job as deputy chief of staff, and named current transportation secretary Aubrey Layne to the position of Secretary of Finance, replacing the long-serving Ric Brown, who is retiring.

Northam, who has spent the past four years as lieutenant governor, tapped his own chief of staff - Clark Mercer - to play the same role in the governor's office.

Northam will be sworn in as Virginia's 73rd governor on Jan. 13.