Bush Picks New Army Secretary

A defense industry engineer and executive is President Bush's pick for secretary of the Army.

Bush is to nominate Francis J. Harvey (search) to the post, which has been held for more than a year by a temporary appointee, a senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the nomination had not been announced.

Harvey would replace Thomas E. White (search), who resigned under pressure last year after repeated clashes with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

An earlier nominee, current Air Force Secretary James Roche (search), withdrew his name from consideration earlpositions at Westinghouse, which had an extensive defense electronics business, from the 1960s to 1997. He holds a doctorate in metallurgy and material sciences from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree in science from the University of Notre Dame.

Les Brownlee has been serving as acting Army secretary since White, a former Enron Corp. (search) executive, resigned in May 2003. White had clashed with Rumsfeld on a number of issues related to Rumsfeld's plans for transforming the military, including the Army's plans for the Crusader artillery system.

Rumsfeld canceled the Crusader, saying it was too heavy and cumbersome for the lighter, more agile Army he envisioned.

In response to questions about his nomination to the Pentagon information post, Harvey told the Senate Armed Services Committee he supports Rumsfeld's vision of a transformed military.