First openly gay man to head a military branch in U.S. history was appointed this week

Eric Fanning will take the position of Secretary of the Army

Things have come a long way in terms of homosexuality in the U.S. army, and after remaining static for so long, they seem to have come that long way in a hurry.

In 1950, President Truman signed the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which set up discharge rules of homosexual service members.

In 1982, President Reagan stated that "homosexuality is incompatible with military service" and as part of a defensive directive, anyone who engaged in homosexual activities, or claimed to be homosexual or bisexual, was to be discharged.

In 1992, President Clinton promised to lift the ban, and a year later the "Don't ask, don't tell" law is passed, in which military applicants wouldn't be asked about their sexual orientation.

In 2003, the now former President Clinton calls for a removal of the ban, but in 2006 the Supreme Court upholds the ban, and continues to do so for another five attempts to have it removed.

In 2008, the then future President Obama's campaign includes a repeal of the ban, but it's not until 2010, following several studies into "the risk factor of homosexuality in the military", as well Republicans' repeated attempt to block the vote, that the Senate eventually voted 65-31 in favour to repeal the "Don't ask, don't tell" law, effectively ending gay, lesbian and bisexual people from serving openly in the military.

And now, in 2016, Eric Fanning has been promoted to the post of Secretary of the Army, making him the first openly gay man to head a military branch in U.S. history.

Having served as both under-secretary of defence and acting secretary of the Air Force, and was voted into the position unanimously, with one of his biggest supporters being John McCain, despite Fanning being an Obama nominee.

With Fanning in this position, the U.S. military may finally be heading towards it's last LGTBQ hurdle, as he is a staunch supporter of allowing transgender individuals to serve openly in the military, something which is still currently banned.