Senate confirms Fanning nomination

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 5/18/16 7:54pm

The Senate confirmed Eric Fanning ’90 as the secretary of the United States Army on Tuesday. The appointment makes him the first openly gay secretary of any military branch, as well as the highest-ranking openly gay official at the Pentagon.

Fanning was nominated to the position last September, but his confirmation was delayed by Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who was concerned that Guantanamo Bay detainees would be transferred to a U.S. military prison in Kansas. Roberts withdrew his opposition after receiving assurances that that this would not happen.

Fanning previously held positions as the Acting Under-Secretary of the Army and as the Acting Secretary of the Air Force, a position to which he was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2012, just one year after the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed.

At Dartmouth, Fanning was a history major. He was also involved in the World Affairs Council, the Tucker Foundation, the Rockefeller Center, the government department, Dartmouth Special Olympics and tutoring at Hanover High School, friends from his time at the College said. He also served as an undergraduate advisor for first-year students, and was a member of Psi Upsilon fraternity.

Fanning was the recipient of Dartmouth’s Barrett All-Around Achievement Cup upon graduating from Dartmouth, according to the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. The cup is awarded to the senior man who shows the greatest promise of becoming a factor in the outside world.