The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nomination of Eric Fanning to serve as Army secretary—a move that homosexual groups note make him the nation’s first openly homosexual secretary of the Army.
“I’m honored by today’s Senate confirmation and thrilled to return to lead the total Army team,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Fanning had previously served as special assistant to Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work. He also served as the undersecretary of the Air Force from 2013 to 2015, and for a time was the acting secretary of the Air Force.
Barack Obama had nominated Fanning for the post last September, but Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts placed a hold on the matter out of concern over whether the Obama administration would move detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Ft. Leavenworth.
As he reportedly received assurances last week that the move would not occur as there was not time left to do so, a vote on Fanning moved forward.
“I believe that because of last week, in a private meeting with Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, I received the assurances I needed to hear to release my hold on Mr. Fanning,” Roberts told the Senate on Tuesday.
“I look forward to voting for Mr. Fanning, who has always had my support for this position,” he stated. “My hold was never about his courage, character or capability, but rather about our nation’s security if the detainees were moved to Ft. Leavenworth.”
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