The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Richard V. Spencer to be the new Navy secretary, along with seven other civilians to fill key positions at the Pentagon.

The approval more than doubles the number of nominees confirmed for Pentagon positions, bringing the total to 15.

Spencer, a financier and former Marine aviator, had his nomination rushed to a committee vote by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., this month, but the confirmation seemed in danger of being held up by partisan wrangling in the Senate and moves by Democrats to slow-roll nominees.

But senators reached a deal on the nominees with less than two weeks until the start of their August recess.

The vote fills a key secretary post in the new Trump administration and gives the Navy a civilian leader as it looks to shore up depleted forces and move toward a larger fleet in the coming years.

Spencer was a helicopter pilot for several years in the Marine Corps before embarking on a 36-year career in finance. Most recently he was managing director of Fall Creek Management, a consulting company in Wyoming.

Spencer will join Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson as they await the confirmation of Mark Esper to be Army secretary.

Senators also approved a roster of undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, and the Pentagon's top weapons buyer. The remaining seven are:

  • Matthew Donovan, as Air Force undersecretary
  • Ryan McCarthy, as Army undersecretary
  • Ellen Lord, as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics
  • Lucian Niemeyer, as assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations, and environment
  • Robert R. Hood, as assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs
  • Robert Daigle, as director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation
  • Elaine McCusker, as a principal deputy undersecretary of defense, comptroller.

Still awaiting confirmation are:

  • John Gibson, to be deputy chief management officer
  • David Trachtenberg, to be principal deputy undersecretary for policy
  • Owen West, to be assistant secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict
  • Charles Stimson, to be general counsel of the Navy.