Gates selects Gen. Martin E. Dempsey to become Army chief 


Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has recommended that President Barack Obama nominate Gen. Martin E. Dempsey to be the next Army chief of staff.

Gates made the announcement at a Jan. 6 Pentagon news conference.

The Army chief of staff is the highest-ranking soldier and serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

If nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, Dempsey would succeed Gen. George W. Casey Jr., who has served as Army chief of staff since April 2007 and will retire after more than 40 years of service.

Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., president of the Association of the United States Army, said, “General Dempsey is a true warrior-visionary who, with his dynamic leadership ability, unmatched talent and unparalleled organizational abilities, will lead our Army with compassion and a unique awareness of the complexities our officers, noncommissioned officers, soldiers and their families face during these uncertain times."

Adding, “As our Army continues to fight two wars and is transforming into a Future Force while maintaining and improving the combat edge as the best Army in the world, our nation and our Army need a soldier of General Dempsey’s caliber to be its leader.

“On behalf of AUSA’s 110,000 members, we congratulate General Dempsey and we pledge to support him as our chief.”

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Dempsey a “creative thinker and a terrific soldier” who has his unequivocal support.

Dempsey served the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command and as the acting commander upon the retirement of Navy Adm. William Fallon in 2008.

He became the commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) in December 2008.

While in this position, his innovative and creative approach to Army training and doctrine ensured that, as the “Army’s Schoolhouse,” TRADOC was growing, training and educating officers, noncommissioned officers and soldiers to serve in the All-Volunteer Army of today and tomorrow.

The command, whose motto is “Victory Starts Here,” has 27,000 soldiers and 11,000 civilians working to accomplish its mission in 32 Army-wide schools training more than 500,000 soldiers every year.

Dempsey commanded the 1st Armored Division in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, and he served as commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq from 2007 to 2008.

He was commissioned as a second lieutenant of armor following graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1974.

From 1984 to 1987, he returned to West Point as an instructor and later as an assistant professor of English.

He also received a master’s degree in English from Duke University, and he is a graduate of the National Defense University and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

He was assigned to Germany as an armor officer, and he served with the 3rd Armored Division during Operation Desert Storm.

His major awards and decorations include: The Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star Medal with “V” Device, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.

Dempsey also wears the Combat Action Badge, the Parachute Badge and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge

(Editor’s note: Jim Garamone, American Press Service, contributed to this story.)