5 things to know about Richard Spencer, Navy secretary nominee
President Donald Trump unveiled his second nominee for secretary of the Navy late last week, and it was a name that had been rumored for months.
Richard V. Spencer, a finance executive with roots in military philanthropy, will go before the Senate for confirmation as the next civilian to oversee policy for the Navy and Marine Corps.
Here are five things to know about Spencer.
1. After college, he was a Marine Corps aviator from 1976 to 1981, serving with the Southern California-based 3rd Marine Air Wing and getting out as a captain.
2. In 2010, he was the architect of a plan to close military commissaries in the United States to save taxpayers an estimated $1 billion a year.
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At the time, Spencer was a member of the Defense Business Board, an appointed group that gives private-sector advice to the Pentagon about business practices.
3. Spencer has links to the top tiers of the Marine Corps and Navy through volunteer work on boards and philanthropy for veterans.
He is vice chairman of the nonprofit Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, which was the driving force behind building the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia. He has served on the executive panel that advises the chief of naval operations.
Spencer is also an adviser to the Washington think tank Center for a New American Security, which provided some high-level executives to the Obama administration.
Additionally, he is on the board of Honoring Our Veterans, a Wyoming-based program to help returning wounded vets.
4. He lives just outside of Yellowstone National Park in Wilson, Wyoming — a state not known for its naval bases.
5. When Spencer’s nomination was announced, a white nationalist with a similar name had a field day on Twitter.
Richard B. Spencer, co-editor of altright.com, tweeted: “I humbly accept dominion over the U.S. Navy.”
The question facing the real nominee is whether he will have to withdraw due to his financial ties butting up against Pentagon ethics rules — as the prior nominee, Philip Bilden, did back in February.
Trump is still trying to fill the Army secretary job, as well.