Capito Votes to Confirm Esper as Defense Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today issued the below statement after voting to confirm Dr. Mark Esper to serve as secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense. The Senate approved his nomination by a vote of 90 to 8. 

“Dr. Esper is a proven leader with an exceptional record of service to our country, and that’s exactly the kind of secretary we need at the Department of Defense. Dr. Esper’s experience and character make him incredibly qualified to serve in this critical role; and having traveled with him myself, I know that his demeanor will help him effectively lead the department. I look forward to working together to support our servicemen and women, provide for our national defense, and ensure the safety and security of West Virginians and all Americans.” 


Mark Esper graduated from the U.S. Military Academy with a commission in the infantry. He has a master’s degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a doctorate in public policy from George Washington University. After 10 years on active duty and 11 years in the National Guard and Army Reserve, he knows firsthand the sacrifices members of the U.S. military make to serve their country. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.
On Capitol Hill, Esper worked as a senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations and Senate Governmental Affairs committees; policy director for the House Armed Services Committee; and national security advisor to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. He was deputy assistant secretary of defense for negotiations policy during the George W. Bush administration. In the Trump administration he has served as secretary of the Army and acting secretary of defense.
Esper also has worked as chief of staff at The Heritage Foundation and was vice president for government relations at the Raytheon Company. 

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