President Obama’s run in office has been one of numerous historical and pretty much epic moments. And before he concludes his presidency, he’s setting out to successfully accomplish more goals of his administration.
Yesterday (Sept. 18), Obama announced his intent to nominate Eric Fanning, 47, as Secretary of the Army, making him the first openly gay secretary of a U.S. military branch – if he is confirmed by the Senate. According to the Washington Post, Fanning “as been a specialist on national security issues for more than two decades and has played a key role overseeing some of the Pentagon’s biggest shipbuilding and fighter jet programs.” With the approval of the Senate, he will work alongside Gen. Mark Milley to run the largest section of the military.
This nomination reflects a major change in the Pentagon. However, according to the New York Times:
While the Pentagon lifted a prohibition on openly gay service members in 2011, it continues to struggle with a culture in which such members say they feel uncomfortable… But gay and straight service members say that ending the legal barriers has not erased all the cultural barriers. Some gay service members say they still experience harassment and discrimination.
Four years ago the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was lifted, as Obama administration worked hard to build a more “inclusive” and “tolerant” military that ended the ban on gay service-members.
“Eric brings many years of proven experience and exceptional leadership to this new role,” Obama said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Eric to keep our Army the very best in the world.”