WASHINGTON — Former Oklahoma congressman Brad Carson received strong bipartisan support Thursday from the Senate Armed Services Committee for the second-highest U.S. Army civilian job.
Carson, who is now the Army's top lawyer, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the undersecretary of the Army. His nomination must be confirmed by the committee and Senate.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, the top Republican on the committee, called the former Democratic congressman a “good friend,” while Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the chairman of the committee, predicted Carson's confirmation.
Carson, 46, a Democrat, represented an eastern Oklahoma district from 2001 to 2005; he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and was defeated by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee.
After leaving politics, Carson taught business law, headed the National Energy Policy Institute at the University of Tulsa and served as CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses.
From 2008-09, on active duty in the U.S. Navy, Carson was deployed to Iraq and embedded with the Army's 84th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion. He has been the general counsel of the Army since early 2012.
At the hearing on Thursday, Carson paid tribute to the Army deaths in the past 14 years — 4,843 in Iraq and 2,401 in Afghanistan — and tens of thousands more wounded, he said.