WASHINGTON – U.S. officials say that Acting Army Secretary Eric Fanning is stepping aside, at least temporarily, because his nomination hasn't been confirmed by the Senate.
The Army's undersecretary, Patrick Murphy, was confirmed last week, so he will oversee the Army. Fanning is expected to step down and move into another Pentagon post for now, but would return to the Army leadership position if his nomination is approved.
Fanning was nominated by President Barack Obama last September and would be the nation's first openly gay leader of a military service.
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., placed a hold on Fanning's nomination in protest over Obama's campaign to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility and transfer detainees to the United States.
Officials weren't authorized to discuss the matter publicly so spoke anonymously.