WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Friday nominated the first openly gay person to head the Army, reported Anadolu Agency.
“President Obama has made an excellent choice, and I hope for a quick Senate confirmation,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement while congratulating Eric Fanning on his nomination.
Fanning currently served as undersecretary of the Army and previously held similar positions in the Air Force and Navy.
Carter, who has worked on gender equality issues and the integration of a large number of gay soldiers into the military since becoming military chief, has worked closely with Fanning – who was once Carter’s chief of staff.
“It has been a privilege over the course of my career to work alongside him and watch him develop into one of our country’s most knowledgeable, dedicated, and experienced public servants,” Carter said.
The Pentagon lifted the ban on openly gay soldiers in 2011.
Incumbent Army Secretary John McHugh announced in June that he would step down from the post no later than November.
The former Republican New York congressman has held the position since 2009.