WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Sept. 22, 2015) — President Barack Obama announced his intent Friday to nominate seven individuals to key administration posts, included among those is Eric K. Fanning, who will be nominated for the position of Army secretary.
Fanning currently serves as the acting undersecretary of the Army and as chief management officer for the Army. He was appointed to that position by the president in June.
“These fine public servants bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their important roles,” the president said of the potential nominees. “I look forward to working with them.”
As secretary of the Army, Fanning will have statutory responsibility for all matters relating to the service, including manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and equipment acquisition, communications, and financial management.
Fanning will be responsible for developing and implementing the Department of the Army’s annual budget, and will lead a work force of more than 1 million active-duty, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve Soldiers, and 250,000 Department of the Army civilian employees. He will also take on stewardship of more than 13 million acres of land.
In addition to his role as acting undersecretary of the Army, Fanning has served as special assistant to Defense Secretary Ash Carter since March 2015. He also served as chief of staff to the secretary from March to June 2015.
“Eric served as my first chief of staff at the Pentagon, and 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. “I know he will strengthen our Army, build on its best traditions, and prepare our ground forces to confront a new generation of challenges.
“President Obama has made an excellent choice, and I hope for a quick Senate confirmation,” Carter said.
Fanning has served as the acting undersecretary of the Army since June, where he worked alongside current Army Secretary John M. McHugh, who said he is impressed with Fanning’s accomplishments.
“Since my earliest days in the Pentagon, I have consistently witnessed Eric demonstrate sound judgment and insight,” McHugh said. “Our Soldiers, civilians and their Families will benefit greatly from his leadership. I commend President Obama on an outstanding nomination.”
In June, McHugh announced he intends to step down from the secretary position no later than Nov. 1.
Recently-appointed Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley also offered congratulations to Fanning.
“I want to congratulate Honorable Fanning on his nomination as the 22nd secretary of the Army,” Milley said. “Upon confirmation, I look forward to working with him on addressing the challenges our great Army faces now and in the future.”
Fanning has served in a variety of other defense positions and across multiple services.
From April 2013 until February 2015, Fanning served as the 24th undersecretary of the Air Force. As undersecretary and chief management officer of the Air Force, he oversaw an annual budget of more than $110 billion by serving as co-chair of the top Air Force corporate decision-making body, the Air Force Council. He also led the Air Force Space Board, the Air Force Energy Council, the Force Management and Development Council, and numerous other Air Force decision-making bodies.
From June to December 2013, Fanning served as acting secretary of the Air Force.
From 2009 to 2013, Fanning served as the deputy undersecretary of the Navy and deputy chief management officer of the Navy. In this role, he led the department’s business transformation and governance processes and coordinated several efforts to identify enterprise-wide efficiencies.
Fanning is a graduate of Dartmouth College.