WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after President-elect Biden announced retired General Lloyd Austin is his chosen nominee for Secretary of Defense. 
“The historic selection of General Austin as the first African American to lead the Department of Defense reinforces President-elect Biden’s promise to cultivate a leadership team that reflects the diverse composition of America’s society. General Austin is a proven leader whom I respect a great deal, and who I am confident will make an excellent Secretary of Defense.
“However, I am concerned about again appointing a recently retired General to be Secretary of Defense. Civilian control of the military is an important principle in our Constitution. General Austin should meet with the members of the House Armed Services Committee so they can ask questions about civilian control of the military, and to be assured that General Austin is committed to this important principle and understands what he will have to do to make sure it is upheld during his tenure as Secretary of Defense.”