WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump says he’s chosen Philip Bilden, a businessman and former military intelligence officer, to be the next Navy secretary.
Bilden was a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1986-1996. Hethen relocated to Hong Kong to set up an Asian presence for HarbourVest Partners LLC, a global private equity management firm.
He graduated from the U.S. Army ROTC program at Georgetown University and serves on the board of directors for the United States Naval Academy Foundation and on the board of trustees of the Naval Ware College Foundation, according to a White House press release.
“As secretary of the Navy, Philip Bilden will apply his terrific judgment and top-notch management skills to the task of rebuilding our unparalleled Navy,” Trump said in a statement. “Our number of ships is at the lowest point that it has been in decades. Philip Bilden is the right choice to help us expand and modernize our fleet, including surface ships, submarines and aircraft and ensure America’s naval supremacy for decades to come.”
Bilden is the second businessman to take a job leading one of the branches of the military, with Trump already having appointed Vincent Viola as his secretary of the Army.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to serve as secretary of the Navy,” Bilden said in a statement released by the White House. “Maintaining the strength, readiness and capabilities of our maritime force is critical to our national security. If confirmed, I will ensure that our sailors and Marines have the recourses they need to defend our interests around the globe and support our allies with commitment and capability.”