South Carolina

Army's new civilian leader on first visit to Fort Jackson

  • U.S. Army Secretary Eric Fanning, left, receives a briefing from Army Col. Benjamin DiMaggio about his battalion’s basic combat training course for new soldiers at Fort Jackson, South Carolina on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Fanning is the new civilian leader of the Army and the first opening gay individual to lead one of the nation’s military services. Fanning visited Fort Jackson and is making the first stop on a number of visits he intends to make to U.S. military installations in the United States and overseas in the coming months. (AP Photo/Susanne M. Schafer)

    U.S. Army Secretary Eric Fanning, left, receives a briefing from Army Col. Benjamin DiMaggio about his battalion’s basic combat training course for new soldiers at Fort Jackson, South Carolina on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Fanning is the new civilian leader of the Army and the first opening gay individual to lead one of the nation’s military services. Fanning visited Fort Jackson and is making the first stop on a number of visits he intends to make to U.S. military installations in the United States and overseas in the coming months. (AP Photo/Susanne M. Schafer)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Army Secretary Eric Fanning, right, speaks with Staff Sgt. Ashley Dean about her work as a drill sergeant with soldiers in basic combat training as new soldiers work through an obstacle course in the background at the Fort Jackson training base, Tuesday, June 7, 2016, in South Carolina. Fanning, the new civilian leader of the Army and the first openly gay individual to lead a U.S. military branch, was touring the Army’s largest basic training installation on Tuesday June 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Susanne M. Schafer)

    U.S. Army Secretary Eric Fanning, right, speaks with Staff Sgt. Ashley Dean about her work as a drill sergeant with soldiers in basic combat training as new soldiers work through an obstacle course in the background at the Fort Jackson training base, Tuesday, June 7, 2016, in South Carolina. Fanning, the new civilian leader of the Army and the first openly gay individual to lead a U.S. military branch, was touring the Army’s largest basic training installation on Tuesday June 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Susanne M. Schafer)  (The Associated Press)

The Army's new civilian leader and first openly gay individual to head a U.S. military service is making his first visit to the service's largest basic training post at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Army Secretary Eric Fanning was sworn in May 18th as the civilian head of the nation's largest military branch.

Army officials said Fanning intends see how soldiers are trained Tuesday at the sprawling installation outside Columbia.

Fort Jackson is expected to train more than 45,000 men and women in basic combat this year. Another 26,000 come to the post for advanced schooling as drill sergeants, chaplains, and other support forces.

The 47-year-old Fanning is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has held senior leadership positions in the Army and Air Force and worked closely with Defense Secretary Ash Carter.