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

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.

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