President Trump announced Saturday that he would nominate Army Gen. Mark Milley as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, giving the president a critical opportunity to leave his imprint on the US military by choosing his top officer.
In a pair of morning tweets, Trump said the transition was decided. Milley is a four-star general who serves as Army chief of staff. Chairman Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. is scheduled to retire next fall.
"Trump tweeted Saturday.
Milley's nomination will be confirmed by the Senate, which is unlikely to hold hearings for him or other just-announced presidential nominees before the new Senate convenes on Jan. 3.
The Joint Chiefs shall be oversees global military operations and shall be the senior adviser on military matters.
A veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Milley as Army chief, a champion in Afghanistan. He also worked to improve the Army's readiness.
Some Pentagon officials expected the Joint Chiefs to be selected from the Air Force, considering the informal rotation among the services. Dunford, to form Marine Corps commander, succeeded Army Gen. Martin Dempsey as chairman in 2015.
Trump is scheduled to make an appearance Saturday at the annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.