President Donald Trump nominated Army Gen. Mark Milley (shown above right) to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“I am pleased to announce my nomination of four-star General Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the United States Army — as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” tweeted the president earlier this month.
Milley is currently serving as the Army Chief of Staff.
Milley will be replacing current chairman, retiring Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford.
The exact dates of the turnover have not been announced, but a CNN report said that Dunford “is expected to serve out his term, which expires later next year.”
Dunford has served as the chairman since 2015.
The nomination will go to the Senate for confirmation before Milley officially has the job.
The chairman is the highest-ranking military officer in the United States.
He or she serves as the official military adviser to the president and National Security Council.
The chairman is also the leader of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made up of senior leadership from the active duty military and National Guard.
Praise for Milley’s leadership is coming from all sides as the announcement of his nomination becomes widespread.
“The selection of General Mark Milley to serve as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is a great choice,” tweeted Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
“I am thankful to both of these incredible men for their service to our Country!” President Trump responded to his original tweet.
Trump names Gen. Mark Milley to succeed Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford – Fox News https://t.co/crJymVdfzi
— Champagne (@RithaSims) December 17, 2018
If the nomination is confirmed, Milley will be the 20th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position which was created in 1949.
Before that, Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy served as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief during World War II, in a position which became the chairman.
An experienced combat leader. Milley became chief of staff of the Army in 2015, nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate.
Previously, Milley had served as the 21st commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
In this role, he oversaw the military court-martial of Army Sgt. Bowe Berghdal, who was taken captive by the Taliban in 2009 when he left a U.S. base in Afghanistan.
Sgt. Berghdal was later traded for five Taliban prisoners in 2014 and charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
Berghdal was dishonorably discharged from the Army but did not serve prison time.
Milley also had numerous command and leadership roles, including in the 82nd Airborne Division, the 5th Special Forces Group, 7th Infantry Division, 10th Mountain Division, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Readiness Center, 25th Infantry Division, and 101st Airborne (Air Assault).
He also served in the 1st Cavalry Division and 3rd Infantry Division, both based in Baghdad, Iraq.
He has served in a wide variety of units and locations, providing him with the necessary scope of experience to lead the Joint Chiefs.
The four-star Army general is a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia University, where he earned a master’s degree in international relations.
From the U.S. Naval War College, he also holds a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies.
Katie Begley is an OpsLens contributor, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, and a former surface warfare officer. In addition to being a military spouse, she is a freelance writer specializing in travel, education and parenting subjects. This OpsLens piece is used by permission.
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