The White House announced Thursday that President Donald Trump is formally nominating Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to become the Pentagon’s chief.
Shanahan, who has held the position on an interim basis since December, was recently cleared in a Pentagon inspector general’s report investigating whether he had shown preference for his former employer Boeing.
“Based upon his outstanding service to the country and his demonstrated ability to lead, President Trump intends to nominate Patrick M. Shanahan to be Secretary of Defense,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced in a tweet.
“I am honored by today’s announcement of President Trump’s intent to nominate,” Shanahan responded in his own tweet. “If confirmed by the Senate, I will continue the aggressive implementation of our National Defense Strategy. I remain committed to modernizing the force so our remarkable soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have everything they need to keep our military lethal and our country safe.”
Shanahan became acting defense secretary after Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis retired from the role late last year. In addition to overseeing development of the National Defense Strategy, he has also overseen DOD’s fiscal 2020 budget request, increasing southern border commitments, and other defense priorities.
The Pentagon has operated without permanent officials in many top posts, including the deputy secretary, comptroller and chief management officer, as well as and a host of supporting appointments.
If confirmed by the Senate, Shanahan’s appointment is expected to help in filling agency vacancies.
DOD photo by Lisa Ferdinando