Richard V. Spencer of Wyoming became the acting secretary of defense on July 15, 2019. He previously served as the secretary of the Navy. A Connecticut native, Spencer graduated from Rollins College in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics. Upon graduation, he joined the Marine Corps and served as an H-46 pilot until 1981 before departing active duty to enter the private finance sector. He has served on the Defense Business Board and the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel.