President Trump announced his intention to nominate Army Secretary Mark Esper as defense secretary on Friday in a White House statement.
The move comes after Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, whom Trump previously had nominated for the position, withdrew his name from consideration Tuesday.
Trump announced Shanahan’s withdrawal and his appointment of Esper as acting defense secretary at the same time. Esper begins as acting defense secretary on Monday.
“I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job!”
….I thank Pat for his outstanding service and will be naming Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, to be the new Acting Secretary of Defense. I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2019
Esper previously served as a vice president for government relations at Raytheon Company. He served in the Army as an infantry officer in the 101 Airborne Division and served in the first Gulf War. He transitioned to the National Guard and retired after 21 years of service.
Esper also worked on national security issues on Capitol Hill for then-Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Fred Thompson (R-TN), and Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN). He also served on the Senate Foreign Relations and House Armed Services Committees and as a deputy assistant secretary of defense. He is a West Point graduate.
Trump also announced his intention to nominate Pentagon Comptroller and Acting Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist as deputy defense secretary. Norquist took over the acting deputy defense secretary role when Shanahan was acting defense secretary. As comptroller, he led the Pentagon’s first building-wide audit in its history.
Trump also announced he would nominate Army Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy as Army secretary. McCarthy previously worked at Lockheed Martin Corporation and served as a special assistant to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and as a professional staff member on the House Committee on International Relations.
McCarthy served in the 75th Ranger Regiment during the invasion of Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute.