President Trump announces Navy Secretary nominee

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Trump announced on Wednesday he intends to nominate Philip Bilden as the 76th secretary of the Navy.

If confirmed by the Senate, Bilden will replace Ray Mabus, who was the longest serving Navy secretary since World War I, a White House news release said.

The announcement follows the president’s nomination of Heather Wilson as Air Force secretary and Vinnie Viola as Army secretary.

“All three of these nominees have my utmost confidence,” Defense Secretary James Mattis said in a statement following the announcement. “They will provide strong civilian leadership to strengthen military readiness, gain full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, and support our service members, civilians, and their families. I appreciate the willingness of these three proven leaders to serve our country. They had my full support during the selection process, and they will have my full support during the Senate confirmation process.”

Bilden is a business leader, former military intelligence officer and Naval War College cybersecurity leader.

The release said he served on the board of directors for the United States Naval Academy Foundation and the board of trustees of the Naval War College Foundation.

Bilden was commissioned in 1986 in the Army Reserve as a military intelligence officer and served for 10 years, achieving the rank of captain.

Bilden’s family includes four consecutive generations of Navy and Army officers, including his two sons, who presently serve in the Navy.