The White House announced today that President Obama has nominated openly gay defense official Eric Fanning for the position of Army Secretary.
Fanning, who is currently under secretary of Army, will be the first openly gay person to serve as the head of a civilian aspect of a military service if the Senate votes to confirm him, reports The Washington Blade. President Obama said in a public statement that he believes Fanning will bring years of experience to the position if confirmed:
“Eric brings many years of proven experience and exceptional leadership to this new role. I am grateful for his commitment to our men and women in uniform, and I am confident he will help lead America’s Soldiers with distinction. I look forward to working with Eric to keep our Army the very best in the world.”
Fanning previously worked in several positions at the Pentagon throughout Obama’s administration including deputy under secretary of the Navy, under secretary of the Air Force and Pentagon chief of staff. Fanning’s potential confirmation proves beneficial for the LGBT community as Fanning is a staunch supporter of open transgender service members and adding sexual orientation to the Military Equal Opportunity policy.
President Obama continues to appoint prominent members of the LGBT community to various positions within his administration, including recently appointing a transgender woman to the Office of Presidential Personnel last month.