First Openly Gay Army Secretary: ‘It's a Remarkable Honor' to Serve Openly

The Senate confirmed Fanning's nomination last month

Less than five years after Congress repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," a policy that banned openly gay service members from serving in the U.S. military, the head of the military's largest branch is an openly gay man.

U.S. Army Secretary Eric Fanning, in an exclusive interview with "Today's" Matt Lauer talks about what a remarkable honor it is to serve his country openly and the unbelievable amount of support" he has received.

Fanning inherits an Army facing increasing demands on the force, ongoing budget restraints and overall fatigue from more than a decade of wars and conflicts.

"It's the strain that we're putting on our soldiers as we continually deploy them and their families," he said. "It's still a very strong, very lethal Army but we're running it hard."

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