Sources: Air Force general in line to head Joint ChiefsMay 29, 1997
Web posted at: 1:24 p.m. EDT (1724 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Air Force Gen. Joseph Ralston will be recommended to replace Army Gen. John Shalikashvili as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon sources told CNN Thursday.
Ralston is a four-star general and currently the joint chiefs' vice chairman. He also is credited for overseeing the Pentagon's recent review of military strategy, known as the Quadrennial Defense Review.
Shalikashvili, who retires in September, apparently recommended Ralston to Defense Secretary William Cohen to be his successor. Pentagon officials stressed that President Clinton holds the ultimate decision as to who succeeds Shalikashvili.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the senior military adviser to the president.
According to the sources, Ralston was recommended over Marine Corps Gen. John Sheehan, an outspoken commander known for confronting tough issues. Sheehan had been considered by insiders earlier in the year to be the front-runner.
But sources told CNN that Sheehan was seen as "too radical" for the position. Ralston is considered more moderate and is regarded by Pentagon officials as the "consensus" choice, the sources said.
Sheehan will be considered instead for the post of Joint Chiefs vice chairman, the sources said.
Correspondent Jamie McIntyre contributed to this report.
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