"Maintaining the strength, readiness, and capabilities of our maritime force is critical to our national security," he said. "If confirmed, I will ensure that our Sailors and Marines have the resources they need to defend our interests around the globe and support our allies with commitment and capability."
Bilden served from 1986 to 1996 in the Army Reserve as a military intelligence officer, including a stint at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Following that, he spent three decades in international investment firms, and was a founding member of the global private equity investment management firm HarbourVest Partners. He is a graduate of both Georgetown University and Harvard Business School.
Bilden is the last of the three service secretaries to be nominated by Trump. On Monday, he nominated Heather Wilson to take over as Air Force Secretary. In December, he announced Vincent Violawould be his pick for Army Secretary.
No confirmation hearing date has been set for any of the three. Trump’s pick for Defense Secretary, former Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, was confirmed by the Senate just hours after Trump’s inauguration.
In a statement Wednesday evening, Mattis applauded the nominations of Bilden, Wilson and Viola, calling all three "proven leaders."
"All three of these nominees have my utmost confidence," he said. "They will provide strong civilian leadership to strengthen military readiness, gain full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, and support our service members, civilians and their families. I appreciate the willingness of these three proven leaders to serve our country. They had my full support during the selection process, and they will have my full support during the Senate confirmation process."
Leo Shane III covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.