Trump Attends Army-Navy Game With New Joint Chiefs Nominee Milley

Trump Attends Army-Navy Game With New Joint Chiefs Nominee Milley

Trump Attends Army-Navy Game With New Joint Chiefs Nominee Milley

WASHINGTON, Dec 7 - U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to name the Army's top general, Mark Milley, as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday, in a decision that appears to be coming months earlier than expected.

If confirmed by the Senate, Milley would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the pinnacle of a military career.

He commanded the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division; the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division; served as the Deputy Commanding General for the 101st Airborne (Air Assault); and served as the Commanding General for 10th Mountain Division.

The officials confirmed the decision Friday on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.

Dunford is scheduled to retire in October 2019 at the end of his second two-year term. Milley started the first U.S. Army-Navy ice hockey game in 2016 in advance of the 2016 Army-Navy football game. Trump re-nominated him in 2017 for a second term. While serving as head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Milley was assigned to review the case of former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years.

Dunford was picked as chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 2015 by former President Barack Obama.

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"He's a battle-tested commander and Pentagon reformer who will be a worthy successor to General Dunford", said Graham, who sits on the Armed Services Committee. He later commanded the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum in NY, the III Corps at Fort Hood in Texas, and U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg in North Carolina before taking the reins as chief of staff in August 2015.

The announcement has come months earlier than initially expected, as Dunford still has almost 10 months left in his term.

Milley made the early decision to charge Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Milley, 60, is a graduate of Princeton University.

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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