The Pentagon announced Wednesday that Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie has been selected to become the next commander of US Central Command, which oversees US troops in the Middle East and Central Asia.
He will also be promoted to General, receiving a fourth star.
McKenzie currently serves in the Pentagon as the Director of the Joint Staff, a high profile position often viewed as a stepping stone to more senior commands.
His selection requires confirmation by Congress.
US Central Command which oversees US military missions throughout the region, including operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen, is currently led by US Army Gen. Joseph Votel.
The Command, which is based in Tampa, Florida, has an area of responsibility that stretches from Egypt to Pakistan.
Votel is expected to step down in the spring as part of a normal rotation.
McKenzie joined the Marines as an infantry officer in 1979. He has served multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In 2010 he served as Central Command’s director of strategy, plans, and policy and in 2014 became the commander of US Marine Corps Forces, Central Command.