- Erik Schelzig/AP
A former US Army flight surgeon and Tennessee State Sen. is reportedly the frontrunner for President Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Army pick, according to sources cited by The Military Times.
Mark Green, a former Ranger-qualified soldier who deployed to Iraq with the legendary 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), is well-known for his interrogation of then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who was finally captured in 2003.
Before he was elected to state office in 2012, he was the CEO of Align MD, an emergency department staffing company that he founded, according to The Military Times.
The news comes after Vincent Viola, the billionaire Wall Street trader and former Army officer, abruptly dropped his candidacy last month, after deciding it would be difficult to sever ties to his businesses. It also comes at a contentious time for the White House, where a number of key positions in the Pentagon remain empty due to candidates either dropping out because of business-related conflicts of interests, or merely awaiting Trump’s selection.
For instance, weeks after Viola dropped out, Trump tapped financier Philip Bilden for Secretary of the Navy, who eventually withdrew for the same reasons.
Green is reportedly meeting with Trump during a rally in Nashville on Wednesday.
If nominated this week, the confirmation process and the scheduled hearings would take at least until April to complete – something that many opponents will criticize the White House for, given the administration’s slow process to nominate candidates for key roles.