By: Zack Duvall
According to various reports, Mark Esper, a Raytheon Co. lobbyist, and retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, is the leading candidate for the Army’s top position.
Raytheon, a U.S. based missile and defense company, declined to comment on the speculation and differed all questions to Esper’s office.
Esper, a gulf war veteran, has held numerous posts at multiple defense industry advocacy groups that include the Aerospace Industries Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Both of the President’s previous nominees withdrew their name from consideration for the post earlier in the year. The first of which, Vincent Viola, citing “complex” financial commitments and investments as the reasoning for his backing out of consideration.
A veteran inside the beltway, Esper is well-known in D.C. having severed as the policy director for the House Armed Services Committee as well as director of national security affairs for then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Republican representing Tennessee.
Neither the White House or the Pentagon offered an immediate response or formal statement.