Senate Schedules Hearing for Army Undersecretary

Senate Schedules Hearing for Army Undersecretary

Photo by: Architect of the Capitol

The Senate Armed Services Committee has scheduled a Wednesday confirmation hearing that might give the Army new civilian leadership.

The panel will consider the nomination of Ryan McCarthy to be undersecretary of the Army, who if confirmed is expected to serve for several months as the acting Army secretary.

A combat veteran who served in the 75th Ranger Regiment during the Afghanistan invasion, McCarthy is a former Army captain with legislative, executive branch and defense industry experience. He would succeed Patrick J. Murphy, the Obama administration appointee who served as undersecretary and briefly as acting secretary until his resignation Jan. 20 when President Trump took office.

Murphy, a senior fellow at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare, said McCarthy is a good choice for the job. “I've served with Ryan McCarthy since our days at Fort Bragg, [N.C.], in 1996. He has served in combat as a Ranger, in the halls of the Pentagon as one of Secretary [Robert] Gates’ top civilian advisers, and as an executive at Lockheed Martin.”

“While his intellect and experience are top notch, it is his heart and love of his fellow soldiers that is second to none,” Murphy said. “It would be a great day for our Army and nation to have Ryan McCarthy in this incredibly important leadership role.”

McCarthy is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute and received his Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Maryland.

Commissioned as an infantry officer, McCarthy was briefly part of the 3rd Infantry Division before becoming a rifle platoon leader with the 75th Ranger Regiment in 1999. He was part of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001.

He left the Army in 2002, working in the North American division of Hongkong Shanghai Bank and as a professional staff member on what was then called the House International Relations Committee. He was a special assistant to Defense Secretary Robert Gates from 2006 to 2011. Since 2011, McCarthy has worked on the F-35 fighter program for Lockheed Martin.

Robert M. Speer, the former Army comptroller and assistant secretary for financial management, has served as acting Secretary of the Army since Jan. 20. He is expected to step down if McCarthy is confirmed.