The pair now face the U.S. Senate confirmation process.
The strait is an international shipping lane, but Iran seized a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo vessel and its crew last week.
U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, is investigating the credibility of claims that civilians were killed, but has not opened a formal investigation.
The fate of the ship and its crew remains unknown.
But the U.S. has not asked Iran.
The Defense Secretary spoke to Reserve Officer Training Corps students at Georgetown University on Wednesday.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter talked briefly on readiness at Georgetown University on Wednesday.
There are now nine American warships off Yemen’s coast.
But no U.S. weapons or munitions are being used…