U.S. officials say the Pentagon is recommending that Adm. John Richardson, head of the Navy's nuclear program, be named the next chief of naval operations.

If confirmed by the Senate, Richardson would be the second submariner in a row to serve as the Navy's top officer. Current chief Adm. Jonathan Greenert also spent much of his career serving as a submarine officer.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is expected to make the announcement Wednesday. He also will disclose who he is recommending as the next Army chief of staff.

The officials were not authorized to discuss the nomination ahead of the announcement so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Richardson is a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He served as director of the Navy's nuclear reactors program since November 2012.