Acting Secretary Mark Esper, right, with Thomas Spoehr, director of Heritage’s Center for National Defense. (Photo: Willis Bretz)

Mark Esper, a former chief of staff at The Heritage Foundation, is taking on a new and much bigger role at the Department of Defense. President Donald Trump named Esper the acting secretary of defense on Tuesday, June 18.

“The nation would be lucky to have Mark serve in any capacity, but he is particularly well-suited to step into one of the most important jobs in the world – leading the men and women of the armed forces in defense of America’s interests,” says James Jay Carafano, vice president for Heritage’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy and E.W. Richardson fellow.

“The qualities that made Mark Esper a great secretary of the Army will make him a great acting secretary of Defense, and ultimately secretary of defense, if nominated,” says Thomas Spoehr, director of Heritage’s Center for National Defense.

Learn more about Mark Esper.

Please join us in congratulating Mark Esper!

Comments (50)

Steve L Ohngren - June 21, 2019

The right man at the right time for the Job!
Congratulations to Mark Esper

John Schaefer - June 21, 2019

Congratulations Mr. Esper. Stay strong. Leftists will come at you with anything and everything.

Tod Bartholomew - June 21, 2019

God Bless You in your Work!!!
Tod Bartholomew

Jeff Traylor - June 21, 2019

Congratulations Col.
I know that you will be (are) a great leader and will inspire both military and civilians to perform at their best!

John White - June 21, 2019

Thank you for your service. Glad you are with our great President!
John White

DR DWIGHT SANDERS SE - June 21, 2019

Great job

William - June 21, 2019

Congratulations Col. Esper –
Our military personnel underwent eight years of the last administration’s social justice experiment. You have the opportunity to correct that disaster and restore our defense readiness to greatness – please do so!

Sue Roberts - June 21, 2019

We are so pleased that President Trump has made you his selection for this important position. May God guide you and sustain you.
Susan Roberts

Joseph A Munoz - June 21, 2019

Congratulation on your appointment as secretary of defense. As a retired member of the USAF, I recognize and understand dedication, loyalty, and responsibility to a team and country.

Jon Sollars - June 21, 2019

Congratulations Col Mark Esper
You are working with the Best President ever.
I know you will make Smart Decisions for four of my Grandsons.
One is a Green Beret
One will be an Officer in the Airforse
One is a Marine
One is in the Army
Thank You for your Service Sir.

Trudy Slater - June 21, 2019

Army strong, Col! Now you branch out to assist America stay strong. Bless your efforts ( likely you will be under fire for your serving time for us, but you are indeed Army strong)! 🙏🏻👍🏻

Michael Senckowski - June 21, 2019

Congratulations Col.

It is essential that all patriots and defenders of our Constitution stand strong for liberty and justice during these trying times. May God bless you, your efforts, your family and our country.

Thank you for your service!

Elisabeth Culp - June 21, 2019

We are delighted that you are taking this most important position!! May you be equipped in every way to lead in facing the challenges, with great wisdom and discernment.
God bless you!

Tim Hansen - June 21, 2019

We are living in a critical time in which the resolve and credibility of our nation is tested constantly. I wish you all the best in making the right decisions as Secretary of Defense to accomplish the mission in protecting the United States, her allies, and her interests.

Dave Parker - June 21, 2019

Great news! President Trump only selects the BEST!

Leonard G> Swanson - June 21, 2019

Congratulations Mr. Esper on your new position at DOD. I hope you will be nominated and confirmed as Secretary of Defense. I trust the Heritage Foundation will do all it can to make that happen. The US cannot stand by and be unprepared for possible threats from Iran, Russia, China, or other hostile regimes. That said, I believe “measured” responses would be in order. I am certain you would be quite familiar with that approach. Best wishes!

SANDRA GROH - June 22, 2019

I am certain you will use your exemplary talents for our nations’ good.

Marilyn Mills - June 22, 2019


Mickey D Watson - June 22, 2019

Lt.Colonel Mark Esper (Ret.) ~ I congratulate you on your position of Acting Sec. of Defense. With your background in the military you can only be an asset to leading the Dept. of Defense in this time of uncertainty, around the world. I know that you will be a vital asset to President Trump and the USA.

I thank you for your service not only in the military but being in civilian service to your country, as well. I am looking forward to President Trump nominating you as our Sec. of Defense soon.

Janice Tym - June 22, 2019

God bless you as you serve our country as Secretary of Defense! You are a great choice. Stand strong !

William R Nuttall - June 22, 2019

I am grateful to hear about Mark Esper, I did not know of him thank you for your information .

Rochelle Staffieri - June 22, 2019

Congratulations! You are the best man for the work. May God Bless you and guide all your decisions.

wrchastain - June 22, 2019

Let’s stop our allies that are donating to the terriorist groups of Hezbolla and Hamas. Enough of this hypocrisy and lets have some loyalty to the USA.
William Roy Chastain

Terry Bauer - June 22, 2019

Congratulations. Our great President has had to overcome barriers to fill leadership positions with Constitutional Conservatives. You are a welcome addition to ensure our Constitutional Foundation will prevail. Thank you for your service to our country, both in the military and now as a civilian.

ZENNA BROWN - June 22, 2019


Andres ( andy) Duarte - June 22, 2019

i congratulate the HFUSA for finally pushing Mr Esper for this interim job, and i hope that the HFoundation can be of
guidance and influence in the leader ship of this decision., and send a message that this upcoming work will be transparent and positive

Suzanne Russell - June 22, 2019

Congratulations on the new job! Thank you so much for serving our country and helping to stabilize situations that need a firm hand. Always lean on God and He will guide you. God bless.

Rita McGauvran - June 22, 2019

Thank you and God Bless!
Air Force wife of 24 years; we love our military and our country!

Tom - June 22, 2019

Great leader for our country and men and women who defend our great country. Congratulations

Ann C. Peeples - June 22, 2019

Thank you for your past service to this Nation, Heritage Foundation and your newest position as
Acting Secretary of Defense.
We are prayful and hopeful that this will ultimately lead to the title of Secretary of Defense as you
continue service to this Nation. President Trump is trying to restore our Nation & formerly depleted Military to full strength to defend our Nation.
I urge you to check into the “justice system” of how our military trains our soldiers to perform during war & ‘THEN’ turns around, charges, imprisons & improperly defends by allowing or dis-allowing certain evidence to clear their names as to their actions on battlefield when they “responded as they were trained”! Something is bad wrong!

God Bless You as You fill this most important military position!

Christopher Imke - June 22, 2019

Congratulations! Our country is so Blessed to have a man of your credentials to continue to serve our country in such an important position in our government. Thank you for your service. God Bless You.

Leland Ferden - June 22, 2019


David Rew - June 22, 2019

Thank you Mr. Esper. I’m very grateful that a person of your qualifications and talents is leading the defense department.

Praying that Congress gives you what you need to defend our country and to support our allies.

Joseph V Dunn - June 22, 2019

Congratulations to Colonel Esper:

I know you will work to strengthen our military and our defenses. Thank you for your service.

Virginia C. Heyler - June 22, 2019

Dear Col. Esper,
I have just read the write up of you on Heritage and am praying that the Pres. will change your status from Acting Sec. of Defense to SECRETARY OF DEFENSE!!!
You sound like an incredibly well-qualifed
person for this vital job!!!!!!

Jim Christison - June 22, 2019

Congratulations Colonel Esper on your position as Acting Secretary of Defense. Thank you for your past service to this country. In my opinion, anyone who has had a past or present relationship with The Heritage Foundation, is the best of the best. I have no doubt you will perform your duties at the highest level possible.

paul mcdonald - June 22, 2019


James Lindeman - June 22, 2019

Thanks for your service

Saundra L. Finleon - June 22, 2019

Mark, thanks for accepting the position when called upon. You have a difficult job in dealing with this Congress and trying to get POTUS’s ideas presented in a fair way. Thanks for your past service, especially your work at the Heritage Foundation. Good luck, congratulations and God bless you and all Americans.

David L. Roberts - June 22, 2019

My prayer; God grant he wisdom and support in all you do. Thank you for your sacrifice.

Charlyce Knight - June 22, 2019

From what I have read about you it seems that you are the man for the job! I pray that the Senate may confirm you promptly and that you seek God’s wisdom for counsel and decisions required of you.

Tom Haskin - June 23, 2019

It is great to see an intelligent person, with your experience and knowledge, put in a position to help lead our Nation in the turmoil we are in at this time. Congratulation and I look forward to your leadership.

Paige - June 23, 2019

Congrats Col Mark Esper!!
We need you and your loyalty to the conservative cause.
God Bless You and thank you for your service and your support of “45”!!!!
America loves Donald Trump!

Thomas R Sprenger MD - June 24, 2019

Congratulations, Mark Espy, on your new assignment. I am sure you are up to he responsibility. Thank you for your continuing service.
Tom Sprenger MD, BG Line Ret, FLARNG

Everett Batey - June 24, 2019

Acting Secretary Mark Esper, God Bless and Thank you for your Continued Service to our Flag.

Shirley M. Gratto - June 24, 2019

Congratulations Col. Esper. May God be your constant guide for each day. Thank you for all your service – yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Sandra Wendland - June 25, 2019

Congratulations Mr. Esper. Thank you! May our Lord be your guide and strength.

David A. Bourdon, (Capt. USAF Ret) - June 26, 2019

Sir: We of the US Military, Retired Military and the US People are honored to have you as our new Secretary of Defense. Where ever our Military goes, our hearts go with them, You and our Pentagon Leaders. God Bless You.

Ava Hebda - June 27, 2019

Thank you for your dedication to America and for your unswerving loyalty to the cause of freedom and this republic. Our great President is surrounded by traitors and faithless Democrats determined to destroy all that we hold dear. God bless you and keep you safe!!

Martha Langston Brazier - June 28, 2019

Praise the Lord! So happy to hear of your appointment to this position! God bless you and thank you so much for your service and your continuing dedication to our country!

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