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Pentagon gets new temporary acting chief as Esper formally nominated

WASHINGTON, July 16 (KUNA) -- The Pentagon announced late Monday that as the Senate received President Donald Trump's formal nomination of Mark Esper to be secretary of defense, he has "ceased to serve as acting secretary of defense and is solely serving as secretary of the Army." The Pentagon said in a statement that as a result, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer became acting secretary of defense and as such, Spencer "has the full authority and responsibility of the secretary of defense." As prescribed in the 2010 executive order "Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Defense," once Senate received his nomination, Esper is required to step down and assume his previous position until he is confirmed as Pentagon chief.
"The senior team supporting the Office of the Secretary remains in place to ensure institutional continuity," it added.
Last month, Patrick Shanahan withdrew his nomination as defense secretary, where Secretary of the Army Mark Esper was named as the new acting Pentagon chief.
The Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Tuesday on Esper's nomination. (end) si.hb