Appearing Thursday on NBC's Today Show, Eric Fanning called serving as the first openly gay Secretary of the U.S. Army “an incredible honor.”

Fanning was nominated to the post in September by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the Senate last month.

“I've gotten used to the fact that this is going to be a part of any time I get a new job or do something,” Fanning told host Matt Lauer. “And when it first happened I was more bothered by it because I didn't quite have the track record that people know now. And I wanted the focus on qualifications. Now I embrace it. It's so important to so many people, I realize. And something I didn't have 25 years ago.”

“I feel a responsibility as Secretary of the Army, not just because of the historical nature of the appointment because I'm gay,” Fanning said. “And I take that responsibility very seriously. I grew up in a military family. I have two uncles that went to West Point. And it was absolutely something that I considered, but wasn't allowed to serve and so chose another route.”

“It is the best job that I have ever had. And an incredible honor,” he added.