President Obama has made a historic first by nominating Eric Fanning who, if approved, will become the first openly gay nominee civilian secretary of the Army or indeed any U.S. military service.
It was only four years ago that openly gay troops were prevented from serving in the military until “don’t ask, don’t tell” was lifted in 2013 after an initiative from the administration.
Fanning is a national security expert with more than 20 years of experience.
He has served as acting undersecretary of the Army since June 2015.
“Eric brings many years of proven experience and exceptional leadership to this new role,” Obama said in a statement.
If confirmed by the Senate, Fanning will lead the Army’s effort to bolster its dwindling ranks, while dealing with budget constraints.
Another mandate for Fanning will be to deal with those soldiers who have returned from the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq with physical and psychological wounds. According to a report from CNN, veteran suicides were as many as 22 a day in 2013.
[Washington Post] [NBC News] [CNN]