WASHINGTON — Christine Wormuth has been nominated to serve as the first female secretary of the Army, part of a trio of defense nominees announced Monday by the White House.

Wormuth previously served as the undersecretary of defense for policy during the Obama administration and was part of the Biden landing team at the Pentagon after the election. Her current job is director of the Rand International Security and Defense Policy Center.

Defense News, a sister publication, reported the Wormuth news ahead of the formal announcement.

While there have been three women confirmed as secretary of the Air Force, neither the Army nor Navy has had a woman in their top civilian post.

Her nomination comes at a time when the military services are grappling with how to better handle cases of sexism and sexual misconduct in the ranks, issues that both President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have promised to address.

In a statement, Austin called Wormuth “a true patriot with a dedicated career in service to America and our nation’s security.”

He also praised her past work with the department on counter-ISIS operations planning and said “her deep expertise will be critical in addressing and determining today’s global threats, including the pacing challenge from China and nation-state threats emanating from Russia, Iran and North Korea.”

As undersecretary of defense for policy, her portfolio primarily included strategy and foreign policy issues. As secretary, if confirmed, she will take on an Army in transition.

The last several years set into motion an ambitious modernization strategy for the service through the establishment of its newest four-star command — Army Futures Command — that aligns with its new warfighting concept Multidomain Operations.

Wormuth’s nomination would continue a Biden trend of choosing women and people of color for top Defense Department jobs. Austin is the first Black secretary of defense, and Kathleen Hicks is the first woman to hold the job of deputy defense secretary.

The White House on Monday also announced its nomination of Gil Cisneros to be undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and Susanna Blume to head the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office, known as CAPE.

Biden has not yet nominated anyone to serve as Air Force or Navy secretary.

Military Times Reporter Leo Shane III and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

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