WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after meeting with Secretary-designate General Lloyd Austin (ret.).
“Before meeting with Secretary-designate Austin today, I already knew he was a proven leader with the deep experience – both professional and personal – required to be an effective Secretary of Defense. Yet, the nomination of another recently retired general to lead the Department of Defense also gave me pause. Civilian control of our military is an important principle in our Constitution and is not one I take lightly.
“Following our extensive conversation today, I am reassured that Secretary-designate Austin shares my commitment to civilian control of the military and will do what it takes to uphold this cherished principle once confirmed by the Senate.
“In order to pave the way for Secretary-designate Austin’s historic nomination, subject to the organization of the House Armed Services Committee, I intend to convene a public hearing before the full committee on Thursday, January 21 so that members of our committee and the American people can hear directly from Secretary-designate Austin regarding civilian control of the military.”