President Obama has nominated Jessica Wright to be the Under Secretary of Defense (USD) for Personnel and Readiness (P&R).

Wright has been Acting USD (P&R) (since January 1, 2013) as well as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, a position she has held since May 2012. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Personnel for two years.

Wright retired as a Major General in the Army National Guard in 2010 after 35 years of military service. Her final position was Adjutant General of Pennsylvania and Commander of the Pennsylvania National Guard. Wright began her Army career in 1975 as an enlisted member and later attended the Women’s Army Corps Orientation/Officer Candidate School at Ft. McClellan, AL and the Rotary Wing Aviator Course at Ft. Rucker, AL. She was the first female Army aviator in the Army National Guard.

During her Army National Guard career, Wright commanded the 28th Aviation Brigade, 28th Infantry Division at Ft. Indiantown Cap, PA and was the first female maneuver brigade commander in the Army. She served in numerous personnel policy positions while assigned to the Army National Guard Bureau including: personnel staff officer and chief of the budget and services branch, and chief of the tours management office and chief of the personnel service division of the Army National Guard personnel directorate.

The USD (P&R) is the secretary of defense’s senior policy advisor on total force management, training, readiness, and recruitment, career development, and pay and benefits for military personnel. The USD (P&R) also oversees the Defense Health Program, Defense Commissaries and Exchanges, and the Defense Education Activity.