General Martin Dempsey, USA it is.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey is the Obama administration's choice to become the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, succeeding Adm. Mike Mullen, who will retire Oct. 1, ABC News has learned.I've seen him on many a VTC, know his work in AFG, and have no strong feelings either way about him, but he is a solid choice. Enough time in DC to know where the minefields are - but not too much time in DC to be of DC.
An administration official confirmed the White House's surprise selection of the veteran officer who became the Army's top officer last month.
Dempsey's selection finishes out the realignment of the Obama administration's Pentagon team brought on by the retirements of Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Leon Panetta, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will replace Gates as defense secretary when he leaves his post June 30.
On a superficial level, it was time for an Army CJCS. I do not agree with those who think that it will be bad for advancing the best military for tomorrow's challenges (which are mostly air & sea) by having an Army guy at the top. No - I am willing to give Dempsey the benefit of the doubt that he will focus on the priorities that are best for our nation and its military. Give him a chance, he deserves it.
Dempsey joined the Army in '74. That is a good data point for the next CJCS. As a JO he saw post-Vietnam up close and personal. His will be a tour with similar issues. Our nation's military needs someone with an understanding of the war we are in and a perspective to help us prepare for a decade of tremendous budget pressures.
Don't panic, I think we are setting up nicely. As for Admiral Mullen's tour - we'll discuss that later. For now, good luck General Dempsey, congratulations!
Before you leave as Army Chief of Staff - could you get rid of Shinseki's "everyone-gets-a-trophy" stoopid berets? Now get to work.