*President Barack Obama is approaching the finish line of his second term in office. And before he concludes his presidency, he’s setting out to successfully accomplish more goals on his “f*ck it” list.
Obama announced his intent to nominate Eric Fanning, 47, as Secretary of the Army, making him the first openly gay secretary of a U.S. military branch – if he is confirmed by the Senate.
According to the Washington Post, Fanning “has been a specialist on national security issues for more than two decades and has played a key role overseeing some of the Pentagon’s biggest shipbuilding and fighter jet programs.”
Throughout the course of his tenure as president, Obama’s administration has worked hard to build a more “inclusive” and “tolerant” military. Four years ago, he successfully repealed the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
But gay and straight service members say that ending the legal barriers has not erased all the cultural barriers. Some gay service members say they still experience harassment and discrimination.
“Eric brings many years of proven experience and exceptional leadership to this new role,” Obama recently expressed in a statement. “I look forward to working with Eric to keep our Army the very best in the world.”