WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump introduced on Saturday that he would nominate four-star Army General Mark Milley to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley testifies throughout a Senate Armed Services Committee listening to on the implementation of the choice to open all floor fight items to girls on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Trump stated on Twitter that Milley, at present the Army chief of workers, would take over as the highest U.S. army commander from Marine General Joseph Dunford at a date to be decided.
“I am thankful to both these incredible men for their service to our country,” Trump stated on Twitter.
Later on Saturday, departing the White House for Philadelphia for the annual Army-Navy soccer recreation, Trump informed reporters that Milley is “a great gentleman, he’s a great patriot, he’s a great soldier.”
Trump’s announcement comes months sooner than anticipated. Dunford would usually stay as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff till a scheduled Oct. 1, 2019, handover.
Speaking to that time, Trump stated with out elaborating, “They usually give quite a bit of notice for a lot of reasons.”
A spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that indications had been that Dunford would full his time period, however he referred questions on the matter to the White House.
“General Dunford congratulates General Milley on his selection as the nominee to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has served with General Milley in peacetime and in combat and has the highest regard for his leadership,” stated Colonel Patrick Ryder.
A spokesman for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews, stated, “We are aware of the president’s nomination and share his confidence” in Milley.
Lindsey Graham, a senior Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to as Milley “a great choice” to succeed Dunford.
Milley is “a battle-tested commander and Pentagon reformer who will be a worthy successor to General Dunford,” Graham stated in an announcement. He referred to as Dunford “one of the most dedicated officers I’ve ever known.”
Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Additional reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Daniel Wallis