Milley Sworn In As New Joint Chiefs Chairman

October 1, 2019 by Dan McCue
(Photo courtesy Department of Defense)

WASHINGTON — Army Gen. Mark Milley became the nation’s top military officer Monday, being sworn in during a rain-soaked ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson in Arlington, Virginia.

Milley assumes the position of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at a challenging time in geopolitics, and will have to advise a president who is prone to make policy decisions in a flash and abruptly announce them on Twitter.

In brief remarks on Monday, Milley assured President Donald Trump that he would “always provide you [with] informed, candid, impartial military advice.”

Trump, in turn, praised Milley calling him “living proof that the American warfighter is the toughest, smartest and bravest, best and brightest by far anywhere in the world.”

While the Pentagon has largely tried to distance itself from House Democrats’ probe into whether Trump pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate a political rival, Milley will be forced to deal with allies now worried that U.S. military aid could come with strings attached.

The general was not unmindful of this on Monday. As he noted the presence of several foreign military leaders, he said their attendance “demonstrates the importance of our shared security interests and common values. As chairman, I look forward to working with all of you to ensure our collective security.”

Also in attendance were Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who looked on as the departing Joint Chiefs chairman, Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, swore in his successor.

Milley, 61, is the 20th chairman since the position was established in 1947.

A native of Winchester, Massachusetts, Milley received his Army commission from Princeton University in 1980.

An infantry officer by training, he commanded Special Forces units in a career that included deployments in the invasion of Panama in 1989 and the multinational mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina to implement the Dayton Peace Accords.

Milley also commanded troops during several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He has been serving as the Army chief of staff since August 2015. In that role, Milley helped shepherd the groundbreaking move of women into front-line infantry and other combat positions.

More recently, he has worked with his senior officers to reverse a shortfall in Army recruiting when the service fell far short of its annual goal last year.

During his remarks, he vowed to maintain the high quality of the world’s preeminent fighting force.

“We are the best-equipped, best-trained, best-led military in human history, and our adversaries should know never to underestimate our skill, our capability and our combat power,” he said. “We will remain the world’s premier fighting force — respected by our friends and feared by our adversaries. We will do this by emphasizing readiness and the modernization of the joint force, all while providing unwavering support, and care, and leadership to our troops and their families.”

Milley also noted that there are currently about 3 million service members deployed in 160 countries, many in harm’s way.

“With the complex challenges of the international environment, the United States Armed Forces stand ready. We stand ready to keep the peace or, if necessary, win the war,” he said.

Military

Sorry, Grinch. Virus Won't Stop NORAD from Tracking Santa
In The News
Sorry, Grinch. Virus Won't Stop NORAD from Tracking Santa

WASHINGTON (AP) — Children of the world can rest easy. The global pandemic won't stop them from tracking Santa Claus' progress as he delivers gifts around the globe on Christmas Eve. The North American Aerospace Defense Command has announced that NORAD will track Santa on Dec.... Read More

Espaillat-Rooney Bill Boosts Funding and Cooperation in the Caribbean
Drugs
Espaillat-Rooney Bill Boosts Funding and Cooperation in the Caribbean
November 24, 2020
by Sean Trambley

WASHINGTON – Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan measure increasing funding to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative to help combat corruption and illicit drug trafficking between the United States and Caribbean nations. Introduced by Reps. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and Francis Rooney, R-Fla.,... Read More

Defense Analysts Caution Against U.S. Troop Withdrawal in Afghanistan
Geopolitics
Defense Analysts Caution Against U.S. Troop Withdrawal in Afghanistan
November 20, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Defense analysts warned Congress Friday against the U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan announced this week amid indications that radical Islamists could resume terrorist attacks. They said further proof is needed that Taliban fighters would not try to seize control of Afghanistan before the Trump... Read More

McConnell Blasts Trump on Troop Withdrawals
U.S. Senate
McConnell Blasts Trump on Troop Withdrawals

WASHINGTON — Amid indications President Donald Trump will move to slash the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq before he leaves office, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attacked the idea in a blistering Senate floor speech Monday. McConnell has been almost unfailingly loyal to Trump, but the Kentucky Republican has openly pushed back when he has seen Trump's actions... Read More

Senior Pentagon Official Resigns as Trump Remakes Leadership
Dep. of Defense
Senior Pentagon Official Resigns as Trump Remakes Leadership

WASHINGTON — A senior Defense Department official resigned on Tuesday, opening the way for a longtime ally of President Donald Trump to take on a key leadership role a day after Pentagon chief Mark Esper was fired. James Anderson, the acting deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, had been in his current role... Read More

Esper's Firing Raises Concerns About Trump's Plans for the Pentagon in Final Weeks
Pentagon
Esper's Firing Raises Concerns About Trump's Plans for the Pentagon in Final Weeks

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's decision to fire Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday raised concerns that he may be planning far-reaching military moves in his final weeks in office — and is putting in place new leadership more inclined to go along. Trump named Christopher Miller, director of the national counterterrorism... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top