The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed
Eric Fanning as Army Secretary.
Fanning becomes the first openly gay
leader of a U.S. military service.
The AP reported that the voice vote
approval “came after Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan, dropped his
opposition to Fanning after a senior Pentagon official told him that
no detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba would be sent to the Army
prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, or other facilities in the United
President Barack Obama nominated
Fanning in September.
Fanning stepped down as the acting
under secretary of the Army in January. He's previously served as
Air Force under secretary, deputy under secretary of the Navy and
deputy chief management officer of the Navy.
The confirmation marks a major shift
for the Pentagon, which only four-and-a-half years ago dropped its
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy that prohibited openly gay troops
from serving in the military. As a civilian leader, the policy did
not extend to Fanning.