The U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Navy's top cyber warrior to head the National Security Agency at a time when the embattled unit is under fire for spying on Americans and allies, Reuters reports.
Navy Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, the head of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, is not expected immediately to change the NSA, shaken by revelations by former contractor Edward Snowden.
If confirmed by the Senate, Rogers would take over as head of both the NSA and the military's Cyber Command from Army General Keith Alexander, who is likely to retire in March or April.
"This is a critical time for the NSA, and Vice Admiral Rogers would bring extraordinary and unique qualifications to this position as the agency continues its vital mission and implements President Obama's reforms," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement.
The NSA is under fire for monitoring the communications of U.S. friends and allies, as well as those of U.S. enemies, with a sweeping eavesdropping program whose scope was disclosed to the media by Snowden.
In a major speech earlier this month, Obama said he was banning eavesdropping on the leaders of allied countries and would begin reining in the collection of Americans' phone data.