Trump names Mark Green as Army secretary pick

Trump names Mark Green as Army secretary pick
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President Trump intends to nominate former Army lieutenant colonel and current Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green (R) as Army secretary, the White House confirmed Friday.

Defense Secretary James Mattis praised Green in a statement, saying he was confident he "will provide strong civilian leadership, improve military readiness and support our service members, civilians, and their families."

Green has been a state senator since 2012 and had recent plans to run for governor of Tennessee. His campaign website describes him as “a conservative Christian, veteran, father, husband and businessman."

In January, Green filed paperwork to run in his state's 2018 gubernatorial race, hiring the Tennessee director for Trump’s presidential campaign Darren Morris to lead his campaign. Green will give up that race should he be confirmed as Army secretary.

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Green served as a former special operations flight surgeon, the emergency physician during Operation Red Dawn in 2003, which captured Saddam Hussein. Green was the first person to interrogate Hussein following his capture.

The Hill reported earlier this week that Green was Trump's pick.

The White House highlighted Green's military service in a statement Friday, noting his service as an Army physician doing three combat tours in the Middle East.

“His military awards include the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the Air Medal with 'V' device for valor under heavy enemy fire, and numerous other medals for service," the White House said.

The 1986 West Point graduate left the military in 2006 and in 2009 founded Align MD, an emergency department staffing company that provides staffing services at 47 hospitals in nine states.

Green is also involved with several military and community-focused charities.

He serves on the board of directors for American Physician Partners and is a member of the executive board of the Middle Tennessee Boy Scouts of America. He’s also a board member for Soldiers and Families Embraced and Reboot for Recovery.

His nomination has prompted some scrutiny. The American Military Partner Association, a leading group advocating for LGBT troops and their families, said Tuesday it was "deeply concerned" about Green serving as Army secretary.

"Green has made a shameful political career out of targeting LGBT people for discrimination," Ashley Broadway-Mack, president of the association, said in a statement. "Based on his vicious, anti-LGBT record, Mark Green cannot be trusted to ensure all those who serve have the support they need and deserve."

If confirmed, Green would succeed Eric Fanning, the first openly gay service secretary.

Green is Trump's second pick for Army secretary, after business executive Vincent Viola withdrew from consideration in February due to his vast financial holdings.

Updated: 6:10 p.m.