The U.S Senate on Thursday confirmed Eric Fanning, an openly gay man, as Air Force under secretary.

President Barack Obama nominated Fanning for the second-highest ranking civilian position in the Air Force on August 1, 2012. The Senate confirmed Fanning, along with other military nominees, by voice vote, gay weekly the Washington Blade reported.

Fanning previously served as the deputy under secretary and deputy chief management officer for the Department of the Navy.

β€œI have been immensely proud to serve these last four years with the men and women of the Navy and Marine Corps, and if confirmed, I very much look forward to becoming a part of the Air Force family,” Fanning said. β€œIt would be my honor to play a role in making sure that the best men and women our country has to offer get all the support they need in undertaking the mission of defending our country, a mission for which they freely volunteered.”

Fanning's career in public service has included stints at the White House, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the House Armed Services Committee. He's also a former board member of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which works to elect openly LGBT candidates.