After hinting on Friday that he might reveal his nominee to succeed Joseph Dunford as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ahead of Saturday's Army Navy game, the president did exactly that, revealing in a tweet that he intends to nominate four-star General Mark Milley - presently the chief of staff for the US Army - to lead the committee of America's most powerful military commanders who are responsible for advising the president on all military-related matters.
The date of Milley's takeover has yet to be determined. Milley's nomination comes months earlier than expected; Dunford still has nearly 10 months left in his term (in the past, JCOS chairmen have typically been nominated in the Spring).
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, replacing General Joe Dunford, who will be retiring....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2018
....I am thankful to both of these incredible men for their service to our Country! Date of transition to be determined.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2018
Milley must now be confirmed by the Senate. Assuming he is, he will become the first JCOS chairman to serve a single four-year term instead of a two-year term with the option for a second, a change that was included in the latest National Defense Authorization Act.
Dunford was nominated in 2015 by former US President Barack Obama, before being nominated by Trump for a second two-year term last year.
Milley became chief of staff of the Army in 2015 after serving at the commander of Army Forces in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He also served in the US Army special forces as a Green Beret. A Massachusetts native and Princeton University graduate, Milley served three tours in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He also served as deputy commanding general of US forces in Afghanistan. Before that, he served in Panama, Haiti, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Somalia, among other countries, according to the Hill.