President Obama intends to appoint a gay man for the role of Under Secretary of the US Air Force.

Eric Fanning, who currently serves as Deputy Under Secretary, has been nominated by President Obama for the second-highest ranking civilian official position in the Air Force.

President Obama said: “It gives me great confidence that such dedicated and capable individuals have agreed to join this Administration to serve the American people.”

He went on, speaking of Fanning and four other nominees: “I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

Fanning said on the President’s announcement: “I am honoured by the President’s announcement, and look forward to working with the Congress and continuing to serve the Department of Defense during the confirmation process.”

With an extensive CV, Fanning is also Deputy Chief Management Officer of the Department of the Navy. He previously held positions with the House Armed Services Committee, the White House, CBS News, the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, Business Executives for National Security, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

The Under Secretary is responsible for: “organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its more than 333,000 active duty men and women, 178,000 Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve members, 182,000 civilians, and their families.”

If confirmed, as Under Secretary, Fanning will also have the responsibility as Chief Management Officer of the Air Force, the senior Air Force energy official, and the focal point for space within Air Force Headquarters.

This news comes as Obama has shown strong support for issues such as equal marriage rights, personally backing them earlier this year. In July the Supreme Court was asked to hear two cases against the Defence of Marriage Act by Obama’s Administration.