(CNN) – President Barack Obama said Monday he will nominate former Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican, to become Defense Secretary and tapped his chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Hagel will be a "champion" for members of America's military, Obama said in announcing the former Nebraska senator as his choice to succeed Leon Panetta as secretary of defense.
He recognizes that "when it comes to the defense of our country, we are not Democrats or Republicans, we are Americans," Obama said.
Brennan, meanwhile, will bring "the leadership of one of the nation's most skilled and respected intelligence professionals" to the Central Intelligence Agency, Obama said in introducing Brennan as his choice to become the agency's next director.
"Today I can say to the men and women of the CIA, in Director John Brennan you will have one of your own, a leader who knows you, who cares for you deeply, and will fight for you every single day," Obama said.