The Bush administration has picked two Pentagon officials and the head of a private research organization as the civilian service secretaries in charge of the Army, Navy and Air Force, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Armitage will become secretary of the Army, Undersecretary H. Lawrence Garrett III will take over the Navy and Donald Rice of the Rand Corp. will head the Air Force, the Post said. The three will run the branches under Defense Secretary Dick Cheney.Armitage, 43, had been slated to leave the Pentagon for an executive position at the State Department, but the Post said Cheney and others prevailed on him to stay with a promise of a higher position than his present one as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. Since 1983, Armitage has played a major role in policymaking in the Persian Gulf and in the ouster of Philippine leader Ferdinand Marcos.

Garrett, 49, a former Navy officer, was an associate counsel to former President Reagan from 1983 to 1986, moved to the Pentagon as general counsel and has been Navy undersecretary since 1987.

Rice, 49, is an engineer and economist who has been a cost analyst at the Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget. Since 1972, he has been chief executive at Rand.