Trump Announces Next Pick for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Pauline Gross
December 9, 2018

Dunford has been serving as chairman since 2015.

US President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn after returning to the White House in Washington, US, December 7, 2018. The chairman is the highest-ranking military officer in the country and serves as the principal military adviser to the president.

Milley assumed command of Fort Hood on December 20, 2012, succeeding Lt. Gen. Don M. Campbell, Jr. who left to command U.S. Army Europe and the Seventh Army in Germany.

Dunford is a former commandant of the Marine Corps and commander of coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Trump announced his picks for a new attorney general and a new United Nations ambassador on Friday and initially suggested he might make the military announcement at Saturday's annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

The officials at the Pentagon downplayed the unconventional nature of the expected announcement, and one said Trump's early decision was not a reflection on his opinion of Dunford.

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Milley is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and has served as the Army's top officer since August 2015.

As the Army's top leader, he helped shepherd the groundbreaking move of women into front-line infantry and other combat positions, while warning that it would take time to do it right.

Milley also served as a Green Beret, one of the US Army's most elite teams. Bergdahl was eventually found guilty, reduced in rank to private, dishonorably discharged and fined $10,000, but was spared any additional prison time.

"I can give you a little hint: It will have to do with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and succession", the president said, in an off-the-cuff remark that appeared to catch Pentagon officials off guard. Trump nominated him for a second two-year term last year.

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.

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