Via Washington Post:
President Obama, in a historic first for the Pentagon, has chosen to nominate Eric Fanning to lead the Army, a move that would make him the first openly gay civilian secretary of one of the military services.
Fanning’s nomination is the latest in a series of actions taken by the administration to advance the rights of gays and lesbians throughout the federal government. The Obama administration has overhauled internal policies to provide benefits to same-sex partners, appointed gay men and lesbians to the executive branch and the federal bench and ended the 18-year ban on gays serving openly in the military.
Fanning, who must still be confirmed by the Senate, has been a specialist on defense and national security issues for more than 25 years in Congress and the Pentagon. As Army secretary, he would be partnered with Gen. Mark Milley, who took over as the Army’s top general in August. Together the two men would assume responsibility for the Pentagon’s largest and most troubled service.
Fanning is the acting Undersecretary for the Army.
Also, via San Diego LGBT Weekly:
Amanda Simpson, the highest ranking transgender appointee of any administration in history was today sworn in as the deputy assistant secretary of defense (DAS) for Operational Energy.
Prior to her new position, Simpson has been active in politics and recognized at the federal level for her work. She was the first openly trans woman political appointee of any presidential administration when she was appointed to the Department of Commerce by the Obama administration in 2009. In 2013, she was detailed to the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force – where she served as the deputy executive director until January 2014 – when she was named the executive director.
Today, HRC praised the news that Eric Fanning, who is openly gay, will be nominated to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Army by President Barack Obama. Fanning currently serves as Acting Under Secretary of the Army.
“Eric Fanning is the perfect choice to lead the world’s best-trained, most dedicated, and formidable Army,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Considering the tremendous struggles that LGBT Americans have faced within the Department of Defense, Fanning’s nomination is deeply significant. This is a sign of hope and a demonstration of continued progress towards fairness and equality in our nation’s armed forces. We urge the Senate to quickly confirm this remarkably experienced candidate to this important post.”
Earlier today, HRC also praised the news that Amanda Simpson was sworn in as Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) of Defense for Operational Energy. DAS Simpson is the nation’s highest ranking openly transgender official in the Obama Administration.
Here’s some video of both individuals: