Army Secretary Eric Fanning

The U.S. Senate HAS confirmed Eric Fanning as Secretary of the Army. He becomes the first openly gay head of a branch of the U.S. military.

The appointment comes five years after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Fanning served two years as undersecretary of the Air Force and a half year as acting secretary of the Air Force.

President Barack Obama nominated Fanning to be Army Secretary eight months ago, but Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kans.) has held up confirmation over a dispute with the administration over transferring Guantanamo prisoners to Leavenworth, Kansas.

The Army is the largest branch of the U.S. military with about 470,000 active troops.