Trump nominates Gen. Mark Milley as chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff

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                <figcaption>© AFP / Chip Somodevilla

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                        <strong>US President Donald Trump has nominated four-star Gen. Mark Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing Joseph Dunford.</strong>

        The date of transition has yet to be determined.

The announcement has come months earlier than initially expected, as Dunford still has nearly 10 months left in his term. Past chairmen have typically been nominated in the spring.

Milley’s nomination will need to be confirmed by the Senate. If confirmed, he will be the first chairman to serve a single four-year term instead of a two-year term with the possibility of a second – a change which was made in the latest National Defense Authorization Act.

The general became chief of staff of the Army in 2015 after serving at the commander of Army Forces in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He has served in numerous command and leadership position, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Milley also served as a Green Beret, one of the US Army’s most elite teams.

Milley has been an advocate for increased spending to upgrade current Army weapons systems and to buy new ones to counter so-called adversaries Russia and China. 

Earlier this year, Milley contradicted the US Defense Department when he said that transgender soldiers did not cause any issues with unit cohesion in the army. The Pentagon report, which the White House referenced in a March 2018 memo, said there were “substantial risks” associated with allowing transgender people to serve in the military.

Although Defense Secretary James Mattis reportedly favored another candidate for the job, Gen. David Goldfein, a former senior defense official told The Washington Post that Mattis recently asked Milley for advice on what to do differently in Afghanistan.

Dunford was nominated to the post in 2015 by former US President Barack Obama. Trump nominated him for a second two-year term last year.

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