The current Under Secretary of the Army, Patrick Murphy, will now serve as the Acting Secretary of the military unit as Eric Fanning steps out of the role temporarily.
Murphy, a former Congressman and Army veteran, just recently stepped into the role of Under Secretary as he was confirmed last week.
The first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress had been tapped by the White House to serve as the new Under Secretary of the Army.
He will take over the Secretary job while Fanning awaits confirmation from the Senate for the job, according to multiple reports.
According to the Morning Call: In early November, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., placed a hold on Fanning's nomination as a protest over Obama's ongoing campaign to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility and transfer detainees to the United States. The move was part of an effort to prevent the White House from taking executive action to close the facility.
Fanning had been leading the Army under the Acting Secretary title since last fall, but he "agreed to step out of his acting role to focus on achieving confirmation in the near future," a Pentagon press secretary said in a statement to The Hill.
If confirmed, Fanning would be the first openly gay leader of a military service.
The 41-year-old lawyer has worked as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and an on-air personality for MSNBC, hosting a show on veterans issues.
Murphy served in the Army and Army Reserve for eight years prior to his political career. From 2003 to 2004, he deployed to Iraq as a paratrooper with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, where he earned the Bronze Star. He also deployed to Bosnia in 2002.
He was an outspoken critic of the Iraq war during his time in Congress, and was one of the leading lawmakers in the effort to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” law.