Sen. Jack Reed says President Barack Obama made a "strong choice" in choosing Ashton Carter to lead the Defense Department.
Obama on Friday nominated Carter, former deputy secretary of defense, to succeed Chuck Hagel, who resigned last week.
Reed, a Democrat, was mentioned as a possible successor to Hagel himself, but immediately dismissed the possibility, saying he was happy serving Rhode Island in the Senate.
Carter is an academic and physicist who has held several jobs at the Pentagon.
Reed says Carter is an effective leader who has demonstrated integrity and sound judgment throughout his career. He says Carter has a commitment to people who serve in the armed forces and a command of national security policy.