President Obama nominates Ashton Carter to lead Department of Defense

Ashton Carter
Ashton Carter

On December 5, President Obama nominated Ashton Carter to succeed Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

Carter is a physicist by profession who had held numerous positions within the Department of Defense. He was Deputy Secretary of Defense from October 2011 to December 2013, serving as Pentagon’s Chief Operating Officer overseeing more than $600 billion per year and 2.4 million civilian and military personnel, and managing global 24/7 operations.

From April 2009 to October 2011, he was Undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics with responsibility for procurement of all technology, systems, services, and supplies, bases and infrastructure, energy and environment, and more than $50 billion annually in R&D.

Speaking of the nomination of Carter, Chuck Hagel who resigned last week, stated: “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.”

Hagel said that in his first year as secretary, when Carter was his deputy, Hagel 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.”

The nomination will have to confirmed by the Senate before Ashton Carter takes over the toughest department in U.S. executive branch.

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