President Donald Trump has tapped current Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green to become secretary of the Army, the White House announced on Friday.
A former Army officer and West Point graduate, Green is popular among many tea party-aligned Republicans. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Green would succeed Eric Fanning.
In a statement, Defense Secretary James Mattis welcomed the selection saying Green “will provide strong civilian leadership, improve military readiness and support our service members, civilians, and their families.”
Meanwhile, opponents have criticized Green’s nomination, claiming that his decisions as a state legislator show his clear opposition to gay rights.
The secretary of the Army post is the highest civilian position in the U.S. Army and has a budget of about $150 billion. The office also has an oversight of more than 140 Army reserve installations all over the world.
President Trump’s original nominee, billionaire Vincent Viola, withdrew his nomination in February due to potential conflict of interest.
The Daily Caller reports:
“His military awards include the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the Air Medal with ‘V’ device for valor under heavy enemy fire, and numerous other medals for service,” the White House said in a statement.
Green has deployed overseas three times in total.