David Small News — 03 August 2012
Gay Man Nominated as USAF Undersecretary
OutServe Praises Presidential Appointment

by David Small

President Obama nominated Eric Fanning as the next Undersecretary of the Air Force Wednesday.

Fanning, who is openly gay, currently serves as Deputy Undersecretary and Deputy Chief Management Officer of the Department of the Navy with considerable background both on Capitol Hill and within the Pentagon.

“It gives me great confidence that such dedicated and capable individuals have agreed to join this Administration to serve the American people. I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come,” said President Obama.

The Undersecretary for the Air Force is the service’s No. 2 leadership post. If confirmed, Fanning would help organize, train, equip, and provide for the welfare of more than 333,000 active duty Airmen, 178,000 Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve members, 182,000 civilians, and their families.

In addition to representing the Air Force on behalf of the Secretary, the Undersecretary is the Air Force’s chief management officer, its senior energy official, and the focal point for space issues within Air Force Headquarters.

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The position has been vacant since June when Erin Conaton departed to be the Pentagon’s personnel and readiness chief.

“I am honored by the President’s announcement, and look forward to working with the Congress and continuing to serve the Department of Defense during the confirmation process,” said Fanning.   

Fanning is currently the Navy’s deputy undersecretary for business operations and transformation and its deputy chief management officer.

According to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute, to date, the Obama-Biden Administration has appointed more than 250 openly LGBT professionals to full-time and advisory positions in the executive branch; more than all known LGBT appointments of other presidential administrations combined


About Author

David Small

David Small is the editor-in-chief of OutServe Magazine. He is a career public affairs professional, currently serving with the Department of Defense as a civilian. He is also a Major in the Air Force Reserve, stationed in New York, N.Y. See more from this contributor.

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