Trump chooses army general to lead Joint Chiefs of Staff

General Mark Milley Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army speaks at the National Press Club

US President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he was tapping four-star General Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, to replace outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joe Dunford.

If confirmed by the Senate, Milley would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Milley is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and has served as the Army's top officer since August 2015.

Milley served as commander of the 10th Mountain Division from November 2011 to December 2012. Dunford would normally remain as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until a scheduled October 1, 2019, handover. He has been Army chief of staff since 2015. Trump re-nominated him in 2017 for a second term. While serving as the Commanding General, III Corps and Fort Hood, he deployed as the Commanding General, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan.

US President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn after returning to the White House in Washington, US, December 7, 2018.

The chairman is the highest-ranking officer in the US military and is the top military adviser to the president.

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Trump hinted earlier on Friday that he would be announcing new military leadership on Saturday when he attends the Army-Navy football game.

Dunford is a former commandant of the Marine Corps and commander of coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Milley, 60, is a graduate of Princeton University.

He says: "I can give you a little hint: It will have to do with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and succession".

Some officials said privately that they expected Goldfein to be chosen because the Air Force was due to receive the chairmanship - two Marine generals, an Army general and a Navy admiral have served since the Air Force's last chairman left office in 2005.

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