Who is Patrick Shanahan? A look at Trump’s new acting secretary of defense

The Deputy Minister of defence, Patrick Shanahan takes over as Executive Secretary from Jan. 1 to cover the accelerated departure of Jim Mattis, President, Trump said Sunday in a tweet.
(U.S. army / Monica King)

President Trump on Sunday said the Deputy Minister of defence, Patrick Shanahan takes over as the Executive Secretary of the Department Jan. 1 to cover the accelerated departure of Jim Mattis after a series of disagreements between Trump and Mattis.

“I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Minister of defence, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense from 1. January 2019” Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning. “Patrick has a long list of achievements during his service as Deputy and previously Boeing. He will be great!”

Read on for a look at five things you should know about Shanahan.

His role is unusual.

Lt. Col. Joseph Buccino, a spokesman for Shanahan, said the former Boeing co. Executive Board the appointment, as acting Secretary.

“Deputy Secretary, continue to serve, as directed by the President, and the Department of Defense, concentrated in the defense of the nation,” Buccino said on Sunday.

It is unusual for the Pentagon to be an act of the Minister of defence. Historically, when a Secretary of state resigned, he remained, until a successor is confirmed. For example, if Obama-era defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced his resignation in November 2014, he remained in office until Ash Carter has been confirmed, the following February.

He was a Boeing’s “fix-it” man.

Shanahan, a former Boeing co. executive, was nominated for the job of Deputy defense Minister at the beginning of 2017.

He would climb up ranks moves by the management to Boeing about a career that began in 1986. The Puget Sound Business Journal named him one of Boeing’s “fix-it” man in March 2016 report. He led the company’s global supply-chain strategies, and the use of advanced manufacturing technologies. Shanahan was Central to the 787 Dreamliner on the route to the production problems in the program’s early years, the report said.

The family tree of engineering, according to his bio, has two advanced degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Master of Science in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the mit Sloan School of Management.

His father, a military vet, it taught masculinity is about “service before self.”

Shanahan is the son of a Vietnam veteran, Mike Shanahan, who served in the U.S. army. “He returned home and continued his selfless service to his fellow citizens with other 25 years in law enforcement,” Shanahan said, according to an October 2017 article about the Department of Defense website. “Growing up, my understanding of the war came my father, his friends, and the few stories you want to share.”

The Washington state native also said, during his hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee that his veteran father raised him and his younger brothers with the American ideology of “service before self.”

Before Shanahan, the Senate confirmed in a 92-7 vote, the said late Arizona Sen. John McCain, he was overjoyed to lead a defense industry executive, who would come with no prior military experience,, the Pentagon.

“I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Minister of defence, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense from 1. January 2019,” President Trump tweeted on Sunday morning. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Trump and Pence, as he is.

The hill reported that Shanahan was close with Mattis; but he’s liked by the White house.

“It is not the policy or geopolitics guy. He is a business man,” a source in the Defense News said. “But he spent the last years learning from the best. And Shanahan is known for a good relationship” with trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

The hill reported that Shanahan frequently Trump and Pence visited as a project Manager in the Pentagon of the proposed Space-Force-military-service.

He believes that the Pentagon’s focus to “increase our performance, lethality, alliances, and reforms.”

“Too often we focus on the process, or the budget, or the level of effort,” Shanahan, the Defense News said. “The Pentagon should focus on outcomes and outputs performance. This focus on performance should lead us to a field of unmatched lethality on the modernization plans and the achievement of this cost-effective.”

“It’s all about the system and the strengthening of the mechanisms to make that change permanently. Without a system, things fall apart when the leader moves on,” Shanahan continued. “The system or the environment should not be dependent on the leader of the present.”

“It is very easy to make in a complex environment such as this, distract yourself. The tactical can consume an enormous amount of time,” he added. “But my job is really to drive change on the scale, and there is a formula for it. And the formula really has, with a change in [the] system.”

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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