Pentagon Installs Third Acting Defense Secretary This Year, As Trump Formally Nominates Esper by Paul Sonne and Dan LaMothe – Washington Post
President Trump officially nominated Mark T. Esper to become the nation’s next defense secretary on Monday afternoon, prompting the retired Army officer to step down as acting defense secretary and hand over his duties to Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer for the duration of the confirmation process.
Esper, a former defense lobbyist, congressional staffer and Pentagon official, has returned to his previous role as Army secretary until he is confirmed. His confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to begin on Tuesday morning. He was forced to step down as acting defense secretary during the confirmation process so the Pentagon can comply with the stipulations of a federal law known as the Vacancies Act.
The musical chairs is the latest episode in a prolonged period of instability atop the Pentagon…