White House: Obama to announce choice of Ash Carter for defense chief Friday

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(Reuters) - President Barack Obama will announce his choice of former Pentagon official Ash Carter to be his next secretary of defense on Friday, a White House official said.

If confirmed by the Senate, Carter will replace former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who is stepping down from the role.

Obama will make the announcement at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT) at the White House, the official said. Sources said earlier this week Obama had settled on Carter for the job.

Carter previously served as deputy defense secretary from 2011 to 2013.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)

26 PHOTOS
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (replacing CHuck Hagel)
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White House: Obama to announce choice of Ash Carter for defense chief Friday
Ash Carter confirmed as the next Secretary of Defense in 93 to 5 vote in the Senate.
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 24: U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (2nd L) speaks as President Barack Obama (L) and Vice President Joseph Biden (R) listen during a press conference announcing Hagel's resignation in the State Dining Room of the White House November 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. Sources say Hagel plans to remain in office until his successor is confirmed by the Senate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama shakes hands with Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter after he spoke at the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) symposium being held at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter listens as President Barack Obama speaks at the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) symposium being held at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, left, stands for a photo with Thorshaug, the state secretary of the Norweigan Ministry
Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, left, meets with Thorshaug, foreground right, the state secretary of the Norweigan Minis
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash B. Carter, right, exchanges greetings with U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Russell A. Sanborn
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Purple Heart Ceremony
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Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter visits Korea
Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter visits Korea
Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter visits Korea
Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter visits Korea
Ash Carter 2.0
Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter visits Korea
Chuck Hagel, U.S. secretary of defense, right, hugs U.S. President Barack Obama, left, during an announcement in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. Hagel is stepping down from his post after 21 months in office amid tension with the White House over policy and how it's presented to the public. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Chuck Hagel, U.S. secretary of defense, left, listens as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. Hagel is stepping down from his post after 21 months in office amid tension with the White House over policy and how it's presented to the public. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Chuck Hagel, U.S. secretary of defense, speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House with U.S. President Barack Obama, left, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. Hagel is stepping down from his post after 21 months in office amid tension with the White House over policy and how it's presented to the public. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Chuck Hagel, U.S. secretary of defense, speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House with U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and U.S. Vice President Joseph 'Joe' Biden, right, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. Hagel is stepping down from his post after 21 months in office amid tension with the White House over policy and how it's presented to the public. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Chuck Hagel, U.S. secretary of defense, speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House with U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and U.S. Vice President Joseph 'Joe' Biden, right, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. Hagel is stepping down from his post after 21 months in office amid tension with the White House over policy and how it's presented to the public. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 24: U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (R) speaks as President Barack Obama (L) listens during a press conference announcing Hagel's resignation in the State Dining Room of the White House November 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. Sources say Hagel plans to remain in office until his successor is confirmed by the Senate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House with Chuck Hagel, U.S. secretary of defense, left, and U.S. Vice President Joseph 'JoE' Biden in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. Hagel is stepping down from his post after 21 months in office amid tension with the White House over policy and how it's presented to the public. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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