Sean Spicer will not be holding his regular press briefing at the White House this afternoon.
That’s because of commitments he has with the U.S. Navy Reserve. In place of Spicer, Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be conducting the briefing.
So what do we know about Sean Spicer and his experience with the U.S. Navy? Here’s what you need to know.
1. He Joined the Navy Reserve in 1999
In 1999, Sean Spicer joined the Navy Reserve.
Spicer joined the Navy as a public affairs officer. According to The Military Times, Spicer has worked as a media planner during joint exercises in Guam, Germany and Sweden.
He has also overseen media coverage of Navy operations in McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Spicer currently holds the rank of commander.
Throughout the 1990s, Sean Spicer worked on a variety of political campaigns.
2. He Has a Master’s Degree From Naval War College
Sean Spicer has a master’s degree from Naval War College.
This is a college for the U.S. Navy located in Newport, Rhode Island. In 2012, Sean Spicer received a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies, according to CBS News.
At the same time, Sean Spicer was working as communications director for the Republican National Committee.
3. He Often Has Navy Reserve Duty at the Pentagon
Sean Spicer has previously reported for duty with the Navy Reserve while serving in the White House.
In mid-April, Spicer was seen in his Navy uniform at the Pentagon.
The White House confirmed to Fox News that Spicer reported to fulfill his duty at the Joint Chiefs of Staff offices.
4. Many Trump Administration Officials Have Served in the Army or Navy
Sean Spicer is hardly the only Trump Administration official with experience serving in the Army or the Navy.
Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist, was an officer in the United States Navy for seven years, and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is a former Navy SEAL.
In addition, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is a former Army lieutenant general; Secretary of Defense James Mattis is a retired Marine Corps general, as is Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly; Attorney General Jeff Sessions served in the Army Reserves in the 1970s; and CIA Director Mike Pompeo is former cavalry officer in the U.S. Army.
5. Sarah Huckabee Sanders Fills in For Him When He Has Reserve Duty
When Sean Spicer is away due to Navy commitments, Sarah Huckabee Sanders conducts the press briefing.
Huckabee Sanders is 34-years-old, and she is the daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. She is not related to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. During the Trump campaign, Huckabee Sanders was a senior advisor, often speaking on behalf of the campaign in media appearances.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently filled in for Sean Spicer on Friday, May 5th, when he also had Navy Reserve duty. Upon returning, Spicer said, “I want to thank Sarah for standing in for me on Friday. She did a great job. I missed you all tremendously.”
According to Politico, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will conduct the press briefing for the rest of the week, and President Donald Trump was pleased with her performance last Friday.
Many were surprised that Sean Spicer would not be present for the White House press briefing today after one of the most monumental events of Donald Trump’s presidency: the firing of James Comey; CNN’s Dylan Byers points out that Spicer’s Navy Reserve duty can be rescheduled if need be.