WASHINGTON – A memorial service for Ashton Carter, former Secretary of Defense, will be held at Washington National Cathedral on Thursday, January 12, at 11 a.m. ET.

Remarks are expected from President Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral. Additional service participants will include Secretary of State Antony Blinken, The Honorable Denis R. McDonough, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., and The Honorable Richard N. Haass among others. A wide range of U.S. dignitaries and senior officials will be invited to attend the service.

All media wishing to cover the service must request press credentials from the Cathedral in advance by filling out the form at this link. All requests for credentials are due by Tuesday, January 10 at 5 p.m. ET, and determinations for these requests will be made on Wednesday, January 11. For broadcast media, the network pool will provide coverage; all pool subscribers should contact CBS for broadcast coverage needs. The Cathedral will also have an HD livestream of the service at this link, which all media are free to use with credit to Washington National Cathedral.

The service will be by invitation only, and only those with tickets will be authorized to attend. All safety measures will be followed to ensure the health of the staff and guests in attendance. Members of the press must register at this link to request press credentials in order to be considered for access to the service. 

Ashton Baldwin Carter served as the 25th United States Secretary of Defense from February 2015 to January 2017. Prior to his tenure, he served as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics during President Obama’s first term, and then Deputy Secretary of Defense until December 2013. During President Clinton’s first term, Carter served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, where he was responsible for policy regarding the former Soviet states, strategic affairs, and nuclear weapons.

During his tenure as Secretary of Defense, Carter ended the ban of transgender officers in the military. In 2016, Carter opened all military occupations and positions to women without exception, marking the first time in U.S. history that qualified women would be allowed to serve in military roles such as infantry, armor, reconnaissance, and special operations units.

Carter is a five-time recipient of the DOD Distinguished Public Service Medal, and received the CJCS Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award and the Defense Intelligence Medal for his contributions to intelligence.

“Ashton Carter was a truly dedicated public servant who devoted his life to keeping our country safe, inclusive, and strong,” said The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral. “We will remember his deep commitment to democracy and his extraordinary example of leadership.”

The Cathedral is located at 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW, near the intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. 


Eleanor Donohue, [email protected]


 About Washington National Cathedral

Grounded in the reconciling love of Jesus Christ, Washington National Cathedral is a house of prayer for all people, conceived by our founders to serve as a great church for national purposes.