December 14, 2018

Trump chooses army general to lead Joint Chiefs of Staff

09 December 2018, 02:20 | Darnell Patrick

Trump chooses new Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, against Mattis wishes

President Donald Trump right talks with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley left during the Army Navy NCAA college football game in Philadelphia Saturday Dec. 8 2018. Trump announced that Milley will be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Sta

He has been Army chief of staff since 2015. While serving as head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Milley was assigned to review the case of former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years.

Trump said the transition date was "to be determined", in a sign that Dunford might go sooner rather than later, but Ryder noted: "All indications are that General Dunford will serve his full term".

The chairman is the highest-ranking officer in the US military and is the top military adviser to the president.

Milley served as commander of the 10th Mountain Division from November 2011 to December 2012.

President Donald Trump has indicated he will make an announcement at Saturday's Army-Navy game and no one in the Pentagon seems to have the foggiest idea what he is talking about.

But in choosing the 60-year-old Milley, a graduate of Princeton University known for his combat command experience, Trump went against the wishes of Mattis, who reportedly favoured Air Force General David Goldfein. He has served in the 5th Special Force Group, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 101st Airborne Division and the 3rd Infantry Division.

Dunford was picked as chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 2015 by former President Barack Obama.

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Milley has championed the rebuilding and expansion of the Army's force in recent years, warning of the need to prepare now to face major, urban combat operations against a near-peer rival such as Russian Federation or China.

In recent years, Milley has been on the forefront of change for the Army.

Dunford is a Marine Corps general.

And he is the architect of the Army's other newest units - it's Security Force Assistance Brigades, which are created to carry the weight of the service's mission to train, assist and advise partner nation militaries to combat insurgents or other adversaries.

President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he wants a battle-hardened commander who oversaw troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to be the nation's next top military adviser.

If confirmed, Milley will be the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to serve a single four-year term, a new policy made law in 2017.

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