Earlier today, President Obama announced that he will nominate Ashton Carter to succeed me as secretary of defense.
Ash is a patriot and a leader. I strongly support his nomination.
Over a distinguished career of public service, Ash has served eleven secretaries of defense. He has held the number two and number three jobs at the Pentagon - and, for both, was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. He is a renowned strategist, scientist, and scholar with expertise spanning from international security and counterterrorism to science, technology, and innovation. And I know that Ash and Stephanie are committed to America's men and women in uniform, and their families.
In my first year as secretary, when Ash was my deputy, I had the opportunity to work with him on some of our nation's toughest national security challenges. I relied on him to lead some of the Defense Department's most important initiatives.
If confirmed as secretary of defense, Ash Carter would make important contributions to our nation's security and armed forces. I urge the United States Senate to confirm Ash without delay, and, until then, I look forward to continuing my service as secretary and ensuring a smooth transition.