Trump announces new pick for Army secretary
- By Sean D. Carberry
- Apr 10, 2017
A Tennessee State Senator and former Army physician is President Trump's choice for Army Secretary.
President Donald Trump has put forward a former Army physician and Tennessee state senator as his new choice for secretary of the Army.
Two months after his first choice, billionaire Vincent Viola, withdrew over concerns about distancing himself from his business interests, Trump has turned to Dr. Mark Green.
Green is a sitting Republican state senator who has filed to run for governor of Tennessee in 2018.
Green graduated from West Point in 1986 with a degree in economics and served in the 82nd Airborne Division. He went on to earn a medical degree and then served in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and served multiple combat tours in the Middle East.
As a flight surgeon, Green participated in the mission to capture Saddam Hussein and wrote a book about that operation and his time interviewing Hussein.
After leaving the service, the emergency room physician founded Align MD, a hospital staffing firm, and serves as the CEO. He is also on the board of American Physician Partners and the Rural Physician Partners Company PLLC.
While Viola was a strong supporter of the Army Cyber Institute at West Point and was viewed as a secretary likely to focus on cyber and tech, it's not clear what Green's interests and focus would be as secretary.
"Mark will provide strong civilian leadership, improve military readiness and support our service members, civilians, and their families," said Secretary of Defense James Mattis in a press release. "He had my full support during the selection process, and he will have my full support during the Senate confirmation process."
However, the state senator has already come under fire from the American Military Partner Association, which advocates for LGBT military family members.
The group claims Green has opposed LGBT rights and sponsored legislation that would discriminate against LGBT families.
Green's predecessor, Eric Fanning, was the first openly gay Army secretary.
So far, Secretary James Mattis is the only Trump political appointee who has been confirmed to a Pentagon position. Trump's pick for Navy secretary, Philip Bilden, also withdrew from consideration in February due to concerns over meeting financial ethics provisions.
The Senate Armed Services Committee voted in favor of Trump's nominee for Air Force secretary Heather Wilson, despite ethics questions raised by Democrats during her confirmation hearing.
Sean Carberry is a former FCW staff writer who focused on defense, cybersecurity and intelligence.