President Barack Obama nominated Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Tuesday in a Rose Garden announcement.
“I know Joe. I trust him,” Obama said. “He's already proven his ability to give me his unvarnished military advice based on his experience on the ground.”
If confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate, Dunford, the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, will replace Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, who is expected to step down this fall after four years.
He would immediately face a long list of challenges: cuts to military spending, fighting the Islamic States, Russian aggression, China’s rise and the continuing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dunford previously served as the top military commander in Afghanistan.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. today applauded the nomination. “General Dunford is a proven leader, commanding forces in Afghanistan, with a deep understanding of the national security challenges we face,” he said.
Obama also nominated Air Force General Paul J. Selva, the head of U.S. Transportation Command, as vice chairman.
“I urge our friends in the Senate...to confirm these remarkable leaders without delay so we can stay focused on the work that unites us all as Americans: keeping our military strong, our nation secure, our citizens safe,” Obama said.