White House: Obama to nominate Ash Carter to lead Defense Dept.

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama formally nominated Ashton Carter to succeed outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Friday morning.

“With a record of service that has spanned more than 30 years, Ash is quietly regarded as one of our nation’s foremost national security leaders,” Obama said.

Carter is a well-decorated national security official who also is a former deputy defense secretary. The Philadelphia native has on several occasions been awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal — the department’s highest honor — and has received multiple medals for his contributions to intelligence.

In addition to his service in national security, Carter also has a long list of academic accomplishments, ranging from a stint as professor and chair at Harvard’s Kennedy School, to a physics instructor at Oxford.

Carter was previously unanimously confirmed by the Senate for his deputy defense secretary job.

So far, reaction to the potential nomination from Congress has been generally positive, with both Republicans and Democrats vocalizing support for his nomination.

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