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Army Secretary Eric Fanning Opens Up About New Post: ‘I Never Thought I Would Be Back Here’

Eric Fanning

The recently confirmed civilian head of the U.S. Army talked to the Today show about his career, being a role model, and the future of the military branch.

Eric Fanning, the first openly gay secretary of the Army, sat down with Today's Matt Lauer to go over his historic confirmation.

From a military family--including two uncles who attended West Point--Fanning told Lauer he considered serving. But military attitudes toward homosexuality and the "don't ask, don't tell" policy stood in his way.

"I wasn't allowed to serve, so I chose another route," he said.

He talked about his first job in the Pentagon under the Clinton administration. "As a 24-year-old junior aide, I didn't see a future for me as an openly gay man."

However, Fanning went on to serve in the civilian leadership of all three military branches, culminating in his appointment to head of the Army this year.

"I never thought I would be back here," he admits, walking the halls of the Pentagon.

Watch the full interview below.

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