United States President Obama will reveal Friday his choice to replace Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense.
A White House spokesman confirmed the announcement would be made Friday, but declined to say who is the president's choice.
The front-runner is thought to be Ashton Carter, a former deputy defense chief and expert on high-tech weapons. White House officials have acknowledged Carter is on the "short-list" for the position and have praised his qualifications. The 60-year-old physicist was once the Pentagon's top weapons buyer and enjoys bipartisan support in politically divided Washington.
Carter did not serve in the uniformed military, unlike Hagel, who was the first enlisted combat veteran to hold the position.
Hagel abruptly resigned last month after two years on the job, saying the country was "best served under new leadership."
White House officials have publicly denied forcing Hagel to resign, but other officials have said off the record that this was the case.
Carter became the front-runner after several others removed themselves from consideration, including Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Senator Jack Reed, and former Pentagon official Michele Flournoy.