"Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration: Mark T. Esper of Virginia to be Secretary of Defense," the White House said in a statement late on Friday.
On Friday, The Washington Post reported citing a senior White House official, that Donald Trump is expected to soon announce his intention to nominate Army Secretary Mark Esper to become his Secretary of Defense.
Esper is expected to take over as acting Secretary of Defense on Sunday, according to AP.
Earlier in the day, The New York Times reported about the US president's intention to nominate Esper officially.
Patrick Shanahan left the Pentagon on Friday, with a "hearty farewell" received from colleagues, and Mark Esper to see his predecessor off.
The nomination comes against the backdrop of a "leadership vacuum" in the US Department of Defence as it faces rising tensions with Iran. Trump has reportedly been under pressure from US lawmakers urging the president to "bring stable civilian leadership to the Pentagon," The Washington Post reported.
Esper, 55 , previously worked as a vice president for government relations at the Raytheon Company and is an Army, Defense Department, and Capitol Hill veteran who served with distinction in the Gulf War, according to US-based media reports.
The position of Army Secretary, which will be vacant following Esper's departure, will reportedly be filled by Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy, according to AP.
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