Obama nominates Marine commander to lead US military

Barack Obama announces Marine General Joseph Dunford as his nominee for chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

US President Barack Obama nominated Marine General Joseph Dunford as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to replace Army General Martin Dempsey on Tuesday.

Dunford, commandant of the Marine Corps, has experience in both Iraq and Afghanistan wars and was serving as top Marine general since late 2014.

He led US and international forces in Afghanistan as they handed over greater responsibility to Afghan troops battling a still-resilient Taliban.

The 38-year Marine veteran was part of the top command that led the US forces during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In addition, Obama nominated Air Force General Paul Selva, currently the commander of the US Transportation Command, as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Dunford, a Boston native, started his military career in 1977 as an officer and served as a platoon and company commander for several years before moving to administrative roles.

His friends and colleagues describe Dunford as a calm and thoughtful leader, a meticulous planner and a swift executive.

In Iraq war, as a colonel, Dunford commanded the Regimental Combat Team 5, the unit that would lead the US invasion.

Dunford's most high-profile international role was commanding forces in Afghanistan, during which he worked to empower Afghans and withdraw American troops.

By appointing Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Obama will hand the command of US military to a chairman with strong battlefield experience before he leaves office next year.

TRTWorld and agencies