Christine Wormuth was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a unanimous vote on Thursday as the next Secretary of the Army. She is the first female to serve in this position.
“I am so honored to be confirmed as Secretary of the Army! Serving in this role is a tremendous privilege and responsibility,” Wormuth tweeted on Wednesday to @Samwashdc.
From 2014 to 2016, Wormuth held the third-ranking position at the Pentagon, serving as the undersecretary of defense for policy. She worked as the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and civil support during President Barack Obama’s presidency. Most recently, she worked as the director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at Rand.
She was confirmed on Wednesday night, but her confirmation was canceled without an explanation. Senator Kevin Cramer said Wormuth’s confirmation was revoked because of a hold he had previously placed on Wormuth.
“I had to hold on her. I think you probably all suspected that,” Cramer said. “They accidentally confirmed her by voice vote and then they unconfirmed her by voice vote because I hadn’t lifted my hold, but I did today, so that so that’s what happened last night.”
Cramer, a Senate Armed Services Committee member, held up Wormuth’s confirmation to force the Army to solve an issue involving an Army major who had been underpaid for 10 months.
National security professionals praised Wormuth and her abilities when President Biden announced her nomination in March.
“Her policy background may be particularly helpful in connecting the Army to broader national security goals. That’s important because many strategists are looking to cut the Army as a bill payer for maritime and aerospace initiatives,” said Mark Cancian, a senior adviser with the CSIS International Security Program. “However, she will need to gain the Army’s trust because she has no particular connection with the Army, unlike the Army secretaries during the Trump years who had deep roots in the Army.”