Christine Wormuth

Biden taps Christine Wormuth to be first female Army secretary

President Joe Biden plans to nominate Christine Wormuth to be the next Army secretary, making her the first woman to hold that position, the White House said Monday.

Wormuth is currently Director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the RAND Corporation. In January 2021, she led the Biden-Harris Defense Agency Review Team and she has twice received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

Wormuth served as Under Secretary of Defense (Policy) during the Obama-Biden Administration, the third most senior civilian position in the Department of Defense, advising two Secretaries of Defense on the full range of foreign policy and national security issues. She also served as the senior director for defense policy on the National Security Council, helping shape the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance that began rebalancing the military toward the Indo-Pacific. She joined the Obama-Biden Administration in 2009 as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Civil Support. Previously, Wormuth was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, worked in the private sector, and served for almost seven years as a civil servant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, beginning as a Presidential Management Fellow.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, praised the pick.

“Christine is a true patriot with a dedicated career in service to America and our nation’s security,” he said in a statement.

“I have no doubt that if confirmed she will lead our soldiers and represent their families with honor and integrity as the secretary of the Army,” Austin said.

The secretary of the Army is a senior civilian official within the United States Department of Defense, with statutory responsibility for all matters relating to the United States Army: manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and equipment acquisition, communications and financial management.

The secretary of the Army is nominated by the president of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate. The secretary is a non-Cabinet-level official, subordinate to the secretary of Defense. This position was created on September 18, 1947, replacing the secretary of war, when the Department of War was split into the Department of the Army and Department of the Air Force.

The acting Army secretary is John Whitley, who has been in the position since January 20th.

Biden has not yet nominated anyone to serve as Navy or Air Force secretary.

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