White House marks Army’s 242nd birthday

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The White House on Wednesday marked the Army’s 242nd birthday even while the service’s top civilian job remains officially empty. 

“We cannot overstate how important our Army is to preserving our freedom and way of life,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement. “Our nation is eternally grateful.”

Last week, President Trump nominated former Army Ranger Ryan McCarthy to be undersecretary of the Army, the service’s second-highest civilian leader.

But the president has not nominated anyone to the Army secretary position since the first two nominees withdrew from consideration.

{mosads}The first nominee, billionaire Vincent Viola, withdrew in February over difficulties untangling from his financial interests. Second nominee Mark Green withdrew in May amid fierce opposition over controversial statements about LGBT people, Muslims and other issues.

As such, Robert Speer remains acting Army secretary.

In Wednesday’s statement, the White House celebrated the Army as the “world’s premier land force.”

“Soldiers of character, the sons and daughters from across our proud nation, serve as the cornerstone of our Army,” the statement said. “As the world’s premier land force, they stand ready to defend this great nation.”

Trump himself marked the occasion on Twitter.

“Happy birthday to U.S. ARMY and our soldiers. Thank you for your bravery, sacrifices, & dedication. Proud to be your Commander-in-Chief!” he tweeted Wednesday morning.

The Army returned the favor, as Wednesday is Trump’s birthday, too. 

Tags Donald Trump United States Secretary of the Army

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