Esper confirmed as Secretary of Army Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
Courtesy photo

23rd secretary lists four priorities 

Army News Service
Dr. Mark Esper was confirmed by a vote in the Senate, 89-6, to become the 23rd secretary of the Army shortly after noon Nov. 8.

President Donald Trump nominated Esper in July to become secretary of the Army.

In testimony before the U.S. Senate Nov. 2, Esper laid out for lawmakers his priorities if confirmed as secretary.

“If confirmed, my first priority will be readiness — ensuring the total Army is prepared to fight across the full spectrum of conflict,” Esper said. “With the Army engaged in over 140 countries around the world, to include combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, training rotations to Europe to deter Russia, and forward deployed units in the Pacific defending against a bellicose North Korea, readiness must be our top priority.”

Readiness, he said, starts with ensuring the Army has the best possible Soldiers in the force.

“This means recruiting and retaining the best our nation has to offer, ensuring these young men and women are well-trained and well-led, and equipping them with the best weapons and technology available,” Esper said. “Every unit must be prepared to deploy and accomplish its mission. These are the fundamental Title 10 duties of the secretary of the Army, and, if confirmed, I intend to do them well.”

Esper named four broad priorities he would focus on if he were confirmed as secretary of the Army. Those include ensuring Soldiers, their families and Army civilians are “well-led, well-supported, and well-cared for.”

Also top priorities for Esper, he said, are modernization, efficiency, and, most importantly, readiness.

“This means that units are fully manned, weapons and equipment are well maintained, munitions stocks are sufficient, and training — particularly for high-end combat — is ample, rigorous and realistic,” Esper wrote.

A 1986 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Esper served on active duty for more than 10 years before transitioning into the Reserve, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel.

His service included a deployment with the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Desert Storm. For his valor during that operation, he was awarded the Bronze Star.

Following his active-duty service, Esper served in a number of think tank and congressional policy advisor roles in Washington, D.C.

From 2002 to 2004, he became the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy, and from 2004 to 2006, he served as director of national security affairs in the Office of the Senate Majority Leader.

After serving in a number of other leadership positions with industry and government, he became vice president of government relations at Raytheon in 2010, the position he held before his confirmation to become secretary of the Army.

Esper earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard in 1995 and a doctorate from George Washington University in 2008.

He graduated from Laurel Highlands High School in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 1982.

Since Aug. 2, Ryan McCarthy has served a dual role as the acting secretary of the Army, as well as the under secretary of the Army. He retains his position as under secretary.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 26 November 2017 )