Obama taps Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs

Obama nominates new Joint Chiefs chairman
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    Obama nominates new Joint Chiefs chairman


Obama nominates new Joint Chiefs chairman 02:33

(CNN)President Barack Obama said Tuesday he'll nominate a trusted military adviser with ties to his drawdown of troops in Afghanistan as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Obama said Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, currently the commandant of the Marine Corps, is his choice for the top military post.
Dunford "is one of the most admired officers in our military," Obama said outside the White House, with Dunford standing by his side.
"I know Joe. I trust him," Obama said, citing Dunford's previous role as the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan. "He's already proven his ability to give me his unvarnished military advice based on his experience on the ground."
    Dunford would replace Gen. Martin Dempsey,‎ who served in the top military role since 2011.
    Before taking the top job at the Marine Corps, Dunford led U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan as Obama sought to withdraw American troops.
    Dunford must first be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate before assuming the new post.
    Obama also said Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, current commander of the U.S. Transportation Command, is his choice to be the joint chiefs' vice chairman. Selva would replace Adm. James "Sandy" Winnefeld.
    The terms of Dempsey and Winnefeld expire later this year.
    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain offered praise for Dunford on Monday, when news that he was Obama's choice was circulating.
    "I've known him very well for many years and he's an outstanding leader," said McCain, a Vietnam war veteran. "I'm very, extremely enthusiastic about his selection. He's a combat veteran. He's a warrior."
    A Boston native with a master's degree in government from Georgetown University and another master's in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Dunford served as an infantry officer and commanded the 5th Marine Regiment during the Iraq war. He's also held a long list of top Marine posts.