Obama Taps Gen. Martin Dempsey As Next Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman
President Barack Obama announced Monday his nomination of Army head Gen. Martin Dempsey to be the next Joint Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff to replace Adm. Mike Mullen, whose term ends in September.
The nomination is unusual because Dempsey has been the Army's chief officer only since April 2011, one of the quickest promotions in recent memory, writes Politico.
Obama called Dempsey one of the country's "most respected and combat-tested generals."
As chairman, Dempsey would oversea the drawdown of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Before becoming the Army's chief of staff, he lead the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command.
Dempsey is considered to be a different kind of general from the other frontrunner for the chairmanship, Gen. James E. Cartwright, who has been described as "tech-savvy." Dempsey is known for his leadership in the low-tech combat scenarios of Iraq and Afghanistan. He commanded the 1st Armored Division in Iraq from 2003 to 2004.
Dempsey is not without his detractors, as the Washington Post points out:
Critics complain that Dempsey has not pushed the Army to think hard enough about how future wars might differ from Iraq and Afghanistan. His outlook, however, reflects the dominant thinking within the Army’s officer corps and the viewpoint of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who has complained that the Pentagon tends to focus on preparing for the next war, a condition he termed “nexwaritis.”
Dempsey is an active blogger. In many posts, he has advocated the thorough training of Iraqi and Afghan security forcesSuch training operations will be “a core competency for our force in the future, as part of our effort to prevent conflict,” he recently told a Senate panel.
He is also known for having a sense of humor. The video below shows him crooning Sinatra-style at a reception at Fort Monroe, Virginia.
His appointment will require Senate approval.