WASHINGTON, DC – Today, after President-elect Joe Biden announced the nomination of General Lloyd J. Austin III (ret.) to be the next U.S. Secretary of Defense, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“Retired General Austin is a distinguished and decorated officer whose wise counsel would be an asset to any President.

“Because General Austin has only been retired from the military for four years, his nomination will require that Congress pass a waiver to the requirement that a Secretary of Defense be out of the military for at least seven years.

“As I have stated in the past, civilian control of the military is a hallmark of our Constitution and democratic system.

“It is the obligation of the Senate to thoroughly review this nomination in the historic context it is being presented and the impact it will have on future generations.  Indeed, one cannot separate the waiver from the individual who has been nominated.

“I will carefully review this nomination and look forward to meeting with General Austin to hear his views on the national security challenges we face and the exemption request being made in order for him to be considered to lead the Pentagon.”