The Washington Post reports that Fanning’s nomination is part of an increasing trend that finds The White House working to advance the rights of gays and lesbians in the federal government.
The move comes on the heels of the Obama administration providing health benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, appointing gay men and women to the executive and federal bench, and ending an 18-year ban on gays serving openly in the military.
For over 25 years, Fanning has specialized on defense and national security issues in a career that spans over 25 years in Congress and the Pentagon. If confirmed by the Senate, he’d be working alongside Gen. Mark Milley — who became the Army’s top general last month — assuming responsibility for what The Washington Post calls “the Pentagon’s largest and most troubled service.”
In a statement, Obama said, “Eric brings many years of proven experience and exceptional leadership to this new role. I look forward to working with Eric to keep our Army the very best in the world.”
According to Rudy de Leon, deputy defense secretary during the Clinton administration, “He understands how the Pentagon works and how to get things done in the Pentagon. He knows what works and what doesn’t work. Eric is taking over at a critical time for the Army. The Army is still living off equipment from the Reagan years.”