The US Army finally has a new Secretary. Dr. Mark T. Esper was confirmed by a vote in the Senate, 89-6, to become the 23rd secretary of the Army on Wednesday. Esper was nominated by President Trump back in July to take over the Secretary’s job.

Esper testified before Congress two weeks ago and laid out what he sees as his priorities.

“If confirmed, my first priority will be readiness — ensuring the total Army is prepared to fight across the full spectrum of conflict,” Esper said. “With the Army engaged in over 140 countries around the world, to include combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, training rotations to Europe to deter Russia, and forward deployed units in the Pacific defending against a bellicose North Korea, readiness must be our top priority.”

Readiness, he said, starts with ensuring the Army has the best possible Soldiers in the force.

“This means recruiting and retaining the best our nation has to offer, ensuring these young men and women are well-trained and well-led, and equipping them with the best weapons and technology available,” Esper said. “Every unit must be prepared to deploy and accomplish its mission. These are the fundamental Title 10 duties of the Secretary of the Army, and, if confirmed, I intend to do them well.”

Esper named four broad priorities he would focus on if he were confirmed as secretary of the Army. Those include ensuring Soldiers, their families, and Army civilians are “well-led, well-supported, and well-cared for.”

Also top priorities for Esper, he said, are modernization, efficiency, and most-importantly, readiness.

“This means that units are fully manned, weapons and equipment are well maintained, munitions stocks are sufficient, and training — particularly for high end combat — is ample, rigorous and realistic,” Esper wrote.

Esper graduated in 1986 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, and served on active duty for over 10 years before transitioning into the Reserve, eventually reaching  the rank of lieutenant colonel. He had a combat deployment with the 101st Airborne where he was awarded a Bronze Star.

For the past several years, Estep has been a successful lobbyist.

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