President Donald Trump asked the Senate on July 15, 2019, to confirm the appointment of Marc Esper as the new Secretary of Defense. 

Esper, who has been carrying out the role in an acting capacity since late June, resigned Monday after his nomination was formally received by the Senate, according to Reuters

Instead, the post will be taken over by Richard Spencer, the Navy’s civilian leader since August 2017, who is expected to serve until Thursday, when the upper house of Congress is expected to confirm Esper’s nomination.

“We are committed to transparency throughout this process,” Department of Defense (DoD) chief of staff Eric Chewning told reporters, according to the Military Times.

“The American people deserve to know that there’s only one secretary of defense and that person is fully capable of defending the country and protecting our homeland,” he added. 

This measure will make Spencer the third defense secretary and leader of the Pentagon in office since former Secretary, and retired Marine General, Jim Mattis resigned from office last December. 

Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan then took the office, but eventually resigned and left Pentagon career in June and Esper took office. 

“While my time in this role is anticipated to be brief, I am fully prepared and committed to serve as acting secretary of defense, and I will provide continuity in the leadership of the department,” Spencer wrote in a memorandum to Defense Department personnel, according to the Military Times.

Categories: U.S.