Combat Vet, Doctor, State Senator Tapped for Army Secretary

FILE - In this April 17, 2013, file photo, state Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, sits at his desk in the Senate chamber in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, File)
FILE - In this April 17, 2013, file photo, state Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, sits at his desk in the Senate chamber in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, File)

President Donald Trump has nominated Dr. Mark E. Green, a medical doctor, Tennessee state senator and decorated West Point graduate, to be the 23rd secretary of the Army, the White House announced Friday afternoon.

Green's nomination comes more than a month after Wall Street trader and billionaire Vincent Viola, Trump's previous pick for the position, removed himself from consideration Feb. 3, saying he was unable to distance himself from his business ties to accept the post.

Green served in the Army as an infantry officer from 1986 to 2006, deploying twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan while on active duty, according to a published biography. He earned the prestigious Army Ranger Tab early in his career, and later served as a captain with the 82nd Airborne Division as a battalion supply officer and infantry company commander.

In the middle of his career, according to published biographies, Green asked that the Army send him to medical school, and subsequently earned a medical degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. One of his last tours on active duty was as flight surgeon for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

"His most memorable mission was the successful capture of Saddam Hussein," reads a biography featured on the Tennessee chapter of the Community Associations Institute.

During his service, Green earned the Combat Medical Badge, the Bronze Star, and the Air Medal with "V" device for combat valor, according to that biography. He was also recognized as Army Aviation Association Flight Surgeon of the Year.

Following his time in the military, Green served as president of the Emergency Services Network and then founded Align MD Foundation, a Clarksville, Tennessee, nonprofit that claims to offer free health care to the needy around the world, with a free clinic in Panama City, Florida, and international medical missions trips. He also serves as CEO of emergency department staffing company Align MD.

He was elected to the Tennessee Senate in 2012, and reportedly filed paperwork to run for governor of the state in January. If he accepts the nomination as secretary of the Army, Green would have to end that bid.

If confirmed, Green would succeed Robert Speer, who has been serving as acting secretary of the Army since Trump's election. Eric Fanning, the 22nd secretary of the Army, was confirmed in 2016 and held the position for less than a year.

Currently, all four Defense Department services await a civilian leader.

Heather Wilson, Trump's pick for secretary of the Air Force, is in the final stages of the confirmation process, after being approved by a Senate panel April 5.

Trump's previous nominee for secretary of the Navy, Philip Bilden, withdrew from consideration Feb. 26, citing challenges in separating himself from his business interests.

Trump is expected to name a new Navy secretary nominee in coming days.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at@HopeSeck.

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