Nov 15 2017
"Our soldiers continue to prove their commitment, courage, skill, and determination. In return, we owe them the same kind of leadership. I believe Dr. Esper will provide that leadership. I am proud to support Dr. Esper’s nomination and ask my colleagues to do the same.” – Senator John McCain Speaking on the Senate Floor Today
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor today on his support for the nomination of Dr. Mark Esper to be Secretary of the Army. The Senate voted 89-6 to confirm Esper’s nomination today:
“I rise today to support the nomination of Dr. Mark Esper to be Secretary of the Army. Perhaps more than any other service, our Army is experiencing the strain of 16 years of continuous conflict. From our troops on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq to recent headlines about the tragic loss of four soldiers in Niger, there are constant reminders that we remain a nation at war. And with rising threats around the world, that operational tempo is not slowing down.
“We owe our young men and women in uniform leadership that befits their service. I am confident that Dr. Esper will provide our Army with that leadership. His record of service in the Army, in the Pentagon, and on Capitol Hill provides the foundation for the leadership our soldiers deserve. I am also confident that he will call upon his experience in the private sector to bring a reform mindset to the many challenges facing our Army—such as the readiness crisis and the urgent gaps in capabilities and modernization.
“Dr. Esper began his career as an Infantry Officer in the 101st Airborne Division, serving with distinction in the first Gulf War. He later served on active duty in Europe and on the Army Staff in Washington, DC, before transitioning to the National Guard and retiring after 21 years of service. He was an airborne ranger and recipient of the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Meritorious Service Medals, among other awards and qualifications.
“Dr. Esper also worked national security issues on Capitol Hill with many of my colleagues here. He was a professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations and House Armed Services Committees. Later, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.
“I will not hold it against him that he a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He also holds degrees from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and George Washington University.
“Our soldiers continue to prove their commitment, courage, skill, and determination. In return, we owe them the same kind of leadership. I believe Dr. Esper will provide that leadership. I am proud to support Dr. Esper’s nomination and ask my colleagues to do the same.”