Australia's next governor-general will be NSW Governor David Hurley, with Scott Morrison so confident he is the right man for the job that he didn't consider anyone else for it.
"I had only one choice, my first choice, and he is standing next to me," the prime minister told reporters on Sunday while announcing the appointment in Canberra.
The former defence force chief will assume the post after Sir Peter Cosgrove's five-year commission ends.
Sir Cosgrove's stint was due to finish in March but has been extended to June - after next year's federal election - to allow Mr Hurley to conclude his NSW term at that time.
Mr Hurley became the NSW governor in 2014, after 42 years of service in the Australian Army, the last three of which he spent as chief of the defence force.
His selection means three of the last four appointments of governor-general have been retired army generals.
Mr Morrison said Mr Hurley's great dignity and levelness convinced him he was governor-general material.
"General Hurley is known for looking people straight in the eye. Not up and not down. He was that way with those he led in the military and he's been that way as a governor and throughout his life, " he said.
"Looking eye-to-eye, face-to-face, understanding people's challenges and issues one-on-one, in a very direct and very humble and a very humane way."
The selection of Mr Hurley was a "package deal" with his wife of more than 40 years Linda, Mr Morrison said, stressing the ability of both to put people from all walks of life at ease.
Labor has embraced the appointment, with spokesman Chris Bowen calling Mr Hurley a patriot who served his country well and is "perfectly appropriate" for the job.
But the party resents not being consulted about the pick.
"It would have been a courteous thing for the prime minister to do," Mr Bowen told reporters in Adelaide.
Mr Hurley said he was surprised to receive the prime minister's request.
"It is the highest honour to be asked to be the governor-general of Australia. I am humbled and proud to have accepted," he said.
The governor-general is appointed by the Queen in Commonwealth countries, on the advice of the prime minister, to be the representative of the Crown.
The Queen had approved Mr Hurley's appointment, Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement on Sunday.
The Australian Republic Movement said the public should have been given a say in the selection of the governor-general, which it hopes will be the nation's last.
"This reinforces the worst perception that Australia is in decline from a parliamentary democracy to a club for insiders," the group said in a statement.
Mr Hurley had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his leadership during Operation SOLACE in Somalia in 1993.
He was also appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2010 for eminent service to the army.
Australian Associated Press