Gates taps 'creative thinker' for Army chief of staff

Candidate is known for blog, Twitter presence

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has recommended to President Barack Obama that Gen. Martin Dempsey be named the next Army chief of staff. Dempsey is currently commander of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, headquartered at Fort Monroe, Va.

If confirmed, Dempsey would succeed Gen. George Casey Jr., who will retire after 40 years in the military.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, praised Dempsey as a “creative thinker and a terrific soldier” and pledged his support for the decision, according to a report on Defense.gov that discussed the announcement.

The Army chief of staff is the service’s highest-ranking soldier and is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dempsey was commander of the 1st Armored Division in Iraq in 2003 and 2004. He has maintained a Web presence with a Twitter account and frequent postings to the TRADOC blog and Small Wars Journal. He has discussed lessons learned during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, through the Army's modernization efforts, and while training and working with local forces in Southwest Asia to achieve mission goals.

Dempsey would likely oversee a significant transition as the Army begins to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan this year and undergoes changes in structure to meet efficiency measures that will be imposed across the Defense Department in the coming years.

“Gen. 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,” said retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan, president of the Association of the U.S. Army, in a statement.

“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 Gen. Dempsey’s caliber to be its leader,” Sullivan said.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.

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