Fanning, currently the Air Force undersecretary, was a key member of the transition team along with Army Maj. Gen. Ron Davis that guided Carter through his Senate confirmation hearings to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
As chief of staff, Fanning will have major sway over Carter’s schedule and access to his office. Davis was expected to become military adviser to Carter.
In his brief remarks after his swearing in ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, Carter noted the presence of Fanning and Davis in the small audience and thanked “Eric and Ron.”
In response to the Fanning announcement, Chad Griffin, president of the gay rights advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement Wednesday that few were as qualified as Fanning to serve as Carter’s chief of staff. (Read more about the selected homosexual who was chosen for the Pentagon chief of staff HERE)
Air Force Secretary Wants to Lift Transgender Ban
By Susan Page. Now that the U.S. military has opened more jobs to women and allowed gay men and lesbians to serve openly, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James says the ban on transgender troops is likely to be reassessed and should be lifted.
“Times change,” she told Capital Download, saying the policy “is likely to come under review in the next year or so.” Asked whether dropping the ban would affect military readiness, she replied: “From my point of view, anyone who is capable of accomplishing the job should be able to serve.”
In a wide-ranging interview at the Pentagon, James also described progress in the bombing campaign against the radical group Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, and said the U.S.-led military coalition has gotten help from an unlikely source: Iran.
The Pentagon last week confirmed Tehran has conducted airstrikes against ISIS targets in eastern Iraq, creating a de facto alliance with the United States despite the lack of formal relations between the two longtime adversaries. (Read more from this story HERE)