The Senate confirmed Mark T. Esper as Secretary of Defense. The 90-8 vote took place on July 23, U.S. Naval Institute (USNI) Press reported. He succeeds Richard V. Spencer, the deputy secretary of the Navy, who had been holding the Pentagon’s top civilian job on a temporary basis. USNI reported that Esper is an advocate of the National Defense Strategy, which was put forth by former Defense Secretary James Mattis. Esper is a West Point graduate who served in both the active Army and Reserves. He also served as secretary of the Army earlier in the Trump administration, coming into government service from Raytheon Corp., where he worked as a lobbyist, USNI reported.
The Senate also confirmed Army Gen. Mark A. Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Milley had been serving as Army chief of staff on July 25, by a vote of 89-1.