Efficiency, modernization and maritime dominance; these are just some of the new Navy Secretary’s goals.
Our Washington Bureau’s Ted Fioraliso sat down with Richard Spencer a former businessman from Wyoming to discuss his first three months at the Pentagon.
“It’s an awesome job in the way that it’s truly awesome.”
Richard Spencer’s new career comes with a wide scope of responsibilities.
He shared, “You see sailors and marines graduating from boot camp, and then you fly to Dover to see a dignified transfer of remains.”
But it’s the mission he chose to accept:
“I Richard Vaughan Spencer,” he said, when he was sworn in as the 76th Secretary of the Navy in August.
As Secretary of the Navy, Spencer also oversees the Marine Corps.
Spencer himself was a Marine. He flew helicopters, a job that took him around the world.
After that, Spencer worked on Wall Street; he then moved to Wyoming to start his own business.
“How does a former Marine, investment banker, and business owner become Secretary of the Navy?”
“For the past eight years, when I was living out in Wyoming, I was on the defense business board, which is a group of CEOs that advise the Secretary of Defense on various matters.”
Now, he’s doing the same thing from inside the pentagon.
“My job is to man, equip, train, supply, and deliver, amongst other things. But if you look at that, that’s a business.”
And every business has a budget. President Trump is calling for a $52 billion increase in defense spending, but the final amount is ultimately up to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Building new ships, planes, and submarines take money, but Spencer said he's committed to reforming how to spend it.
“At the end of the day, my fiduciary responsibility is to buy the best I can at the best value for the taxpayer.”
Just three months on the job and Spencer already has a jam-packed schedule, including Thanksgiving and Christmas visits with the troops.