News Releases

MARIETTA, Ga. – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today issued a statement of support after Dr. Mark Esper was confirmed by the Senate as secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense by a vote of 90-8.

Isakson was unable to cast his vote for Esper today as he continues his recovery in Marietta from four fractured ribs suffered in a fall last week. Isakson indicated his support in the official Senate record, and his statement follows:

“Dr. Mark Esper has proven himself to be a responsive leader who supports our troops, mission and ideals, and I’m glad the Senate has confirmed him as secretary of defense. His record of service gives me confidence about his leadership as we continue our work to strengthen and modernize our national defense capabilities, fortify global partnerships and defend freedom and democracy at home and abroad.

“I’ve worked well with Dr. Esper in support of Georgia’s military installations. In November, Dr. Esper held a town hall meeting at Fort Benning, where he also trained as an Army Ranger in the 1990s. U.S. Army Cyber Command has an upcoming move to Fort Gordon in Augusta, and it, along with our other installations across the state, will continue to benefit from his interest in technological advancements.

“Additionally, as chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I appreciate Dr. Esper’s dedication to looking after the men and women who have voluntarily raised their right hands and sworn to defend our nation against all enemies. I look forward to working with Secretary Esper to advance our ideals and protect our national security.”

Esper was nominated to be secretary of defense on July 15. His hearing before the Senate Committee on Armed Services was held on July 16, and his nomination advanced out of committee on July 18.

About Esper:
In addition to his role as acting secretary of defense, Esper has served as secretary of the U.S. Army. Esper is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served 10 years on active duty and 11 years in the National Guard and Army Reserve. He is a former Army Ranger who saw combat in the Gulf War as a member of the 101st Airborne Division. Esper also served on Capitol Hill as a senior aide on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Government Affairs Committee and as policy director for the House Armed Services Committee, in addition to serving as national security advisor to then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. He was deputy assistant secretary of defense for negotiations policy during the George W. Bush administration, and he has served as an executive in the private sector. Esper earned his master’s degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and his doctorate in public policy from George Washington University.