The US President nominated Eric Fanning for the all-important role of US Army secretary.
If confirmed by the Senate, it would make Fanning the first openly gay person to serve the position.
Fanning, has been in the limelight for being an active gay rights activist and has also served on the board of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a group that aims to increase “the number of openly LGBT officials at all levels of government.”
Besides being part of the LGBT Victory Fund, Fanning has also held an array of different posts in the Congress and the Pentagon over the past 25 years, including being a special assistant and chief of staff to Defence Secretary Ash Carter.
Talking about Fanning’s nomination, US President Obama, in his statement said:
“Eric brings many years of proven experience and exceptional leadership to this new role,”
Fanning, who holds a degree from prestigious Dartmouth College, has always been open about his sexual orientation.
In an interview given in 2013 he had said:
“I don’t think there’s anything as important as just living an open life of integrity and productivity… I think that’s one of the most important things we can do.”
If Fanning is approved by the US Senate to serve as Army Secretary, he would be holding a non-Cabinet position under the Secretary of Defence.
Since June, Fanning has been serving as as an acting under-secretary of the US Army. He is an expert in matters of defence and national security and has also served as under-secretary and acting secretary for the US Air Force.
His nomination was taken well by the Pentagon, with its chief Ashton Carter even extending his welcome to Fanning.