The White House officially nominated Mark Esper as defense secretary on Monday, a post he has held as chargé d’affaires since last month.
There has been no defense secretary since Jim Matisse resigned in December, the longest in the ministry’s history.
Esper stopped holding the position as acting secretary on Monday after announcement of his candidacy, the Pentagon said in a statement. He returned to his former job as secretary of the defense in accordance with the law.
Until confirmation of Esper’s appointment, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer will assume the job of deputy defense secretary.