My Statement on the Passing of Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter
Today we mourn the passing of former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and celebrate a leader who left America — and the world — safer through his lifetime of service.
A keen student of history, a brilliant physicist, and a steadfast defender of our men and women in uniform, Ash served presidents of both parties with distinction. Along the way, he helped create a program that dismantled weapons of mass destruction around the world, and I was proud to appoint him to lead the Department of Defense in 2014.
As president, I relied on Ash’s strategic counsel as we invested in innovation and a stronger, smarter, more humane, and more effective military for the long term. Under his leadership, America accelerated its counterterrorism efforts, opened combat roles to women, modernized its weapons systems, and strengthened our alliances around the world.
Ash’s greatest legacy, however, may be the generations of younger leaders he taught, mentored, and inspired to protect our nation and wield power wisely.
Michelle and I extend our heartfelt sympathies to Ash’s wife, Stephanie; his children, Ava and Will; and all those who loved him.