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Mark Esper
Dr. Mark T. Esper – Acting Secretary of Defense.jpg
Official portrait, 2019
27th United States Secretary of Defense
In office
July 23, 2019 – November 9, 2020
President Donald Trump
Deputy Richard V. Spencer (acting)
David Norquist
Preceded by Jim Mattis
Succeeded by Lloyd Austin
In office
June 24, 2019 – July 15, 2019
Acting
President Donald Trump
Deputy David Norquist (acting)
Preceded by Patrick M. Shanahan (acting)
Succeeded by Richard V. Spencer (acting)
23rd United States Secretary of the Army
In office
November 20, 2017 – July 23, 2019
President Donald Trump
Deputy Ryan McCarthy
Preceded by Ryan McCarthy (acting)
Succeeded by Ryan McCarthy
Personal details
Born
Mark Thomas Esper

(1964-04-26) April 26, 1964 (age 57)
Uniontown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Leah Lacy (m. 1989)
Children 3
Education United States Military Academy (BS)
Harvard University (MPA)
George Washington University (PhD)
Civilian awards Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Army
Years of service 1986–2007
Rank US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel
Unit 101st Airborne Division
Virginia Army National Guard
D.C. Army National Guard
United States Army Reserve
Battles/wars Gulf War
Military awards Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
*McCarthy served in an acting capacity from June 24, 2019 to July 15, 2019, while Esper served as acting secretary of defense.

Mark Thomas Esper (born April 26, 1964) is an American politician and defense strategist who served as the 27th United States secretary of defense from July 2019 to November 2020. Before joining the Trump administration, he worked as a defense industry lobbyist.

A West Point graduate, Esper joined the United States Army and served as an infantry officer with the 101st Airborne Division. He was deployed and saw active service in the Gulf War and subsequently served in the Army National Guard. After leaving military service, he was a Senate staffer, chief of staff at the Heritage Foundation, and Vice President for Government Relations at Raytheon.

In 2017, he joined the Trump administration as the 23rd United States secretary of the Army. Esper assumed the office of acting secretary of defense in 2019 and was confirmed as the 27th secretary of defense by the United States Senate with a vote of 90–8 shortly afterwards.

In 2020, Esper opposed deploying active-duty military troops against anti-police brutality protests, which reportedly angered President Trump. On November 9, 2020, Trump announced via Twitter that Esper had been terminated from his position.

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