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Trump names six to top Pentagon posts

Shutterstock image (by alienant): An aerial view of the pentagon rendered as a vector.

President Trump has announced six new appointees to top positions at the Department of Defense, where Secretary James Mattis is still the only Senate-confirmed Trump appointee.

President Donald Trump has tapped Patrick M. Shanahan to serve as deputy secretary of defense. If confirmed, Shanahan will replace Robert Work, an Obama appointee who agreed to stay on at the DOD until his replacement is confirmed.

Shanahan currently serves as senior vice president, supply chain and operations, at Boeing and previously served as vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems and vice president and general manager for Rotorcraft Systems. He has extensive experience with Army Aviation platforms, but this would be Shanahan's first government posting.

David L. Norquist is slated to be undersecretary of defense, comptroller. Norquist has nearly three decades of government financial management experience in the Army, on the staff of the House Appropriations Committee, as chief financial officer of the Department of Homeland Security and as deputy undersecretary of defense in the comptroller's office.

Elaine McCusker has been nominated to serve as the principal deputy to Norquist. She is currently director of resources and analysis at U.S. Central Command, and she has previous experience on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee and with the Department of the Navy.

Robert Daigle, who is currently a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee, will take over as director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation at the Pentagon. He served as director of the Program Resources and Information Systems Management division of CAPE during the George W. Bush administration.

The Trump administration has also nominated Kenneth P. Rapuano as assistant secretary of defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security. Rapuano, a former Marine, was deputy homeland security advisor in the George W. Bush administration and currently is senior vice president and director of the Studies and Analysis Group at the ANSER Corporation.

And David Joel Trachtenberg has been announced as the next principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy. Currently president and CEO of Shortwaver Consulting, Trachtenberg has previously served in the DOD and was also a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee.

Acting Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said all the nominees are highly qualified and were recommended to the president by Secretary Mattis.

"Secretary Mattis is grateful to Deputy Secretary Bob Work for agreeing to continue serving until his successor is confirmed," Davis added. "His steady leadership is critical during this time of transition, and Secretary Mattis continues to have full confidence in him as he carries out crucial work in managing in the Department."

The Trump administration has yet to fill any of the service secretary positions. Trump had nominated Vincent Viola and Philip Bilden as Army and Navy secretaries respectively, but both wealthy businessmen withdrew over concerns of satisfying financial ethics rules. Both men were viewed as champions of boosting cyber capabilities in the DOD.

President Trump tapped former congresswoman Heather Wilson as Air Force secretary, but her nomination has yet be delivered to the Senate for consideration.

Posted by Sean D. Carberry on Mar 16, 2017 at 6:19 AM


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