If confirmed, Rodriquez will be in charge of US forces in all of Africa and its adjacent waters, except for Egypt.
Rodriguez would succeed Army Gen. Carter F. Ham who has served as the Africa Command chief since March 2011.
Panetta said that Rodriguez, who is currently the head of Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, NC, played a key role in the campaign implemented in Afghanistan today.
The US Africa Command is headquartered in Stutgart, Germany.
Panetta also announced that Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr. was nominated as the Marine Corps assistant commandant.