Obama nomination would be first openly gay leader of military branch in US history

Eric Fanning will serve as Secretary of the Army if confirmed

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The Independent US

Barack Obama has nominated Eric Fanning to become the next secretary of the Army - paving the way for the first openly gay leader of a military service branch in US history.

In an historic move, the White House said it was naming Mr Fanning, who previously serving as acting Army undersecretary and chief of staff to Defence Secretary Ash Carter.

A specialist on national security issues for more than 24 years, Mr Fanning must still be confirmed by the Senate, Reuters said.

“Eric brings many years of proven experience and exceptional leadership to this new role,” Mr Obama said in a statement.

“I look forward to working with Eric to keep our Army the very best in the world.”