By Debbie Gregory.
The largest command in the U.S. military has a new leader. Gen. Mark Milley, an Ivy League graduate and career grunt, is taking over as the Army’s 39th Chief of Staff. The change of responsibility ceremony is scheduled for tomorrow, August 14, at 10 a.m., on Summerall Field, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia.
Gen. Milley, a 1980 graduate of Princeton University, had commanded U.S. Army Forces Command since August 2014. He has relinquished command of Fort Bragg’s only four-star command to Gen. Robert B. Abrams.
Milley, a native of Boston, MA, replaces retiring Gen. Raymond T. Odierno.
Before his year at the helm of Forces Command, Milley served with the 82nd Airborne Division and 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg and the 7th Infantry Division, 10th Mountain Division, 2nd Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division and 101st Airborne Division.
Before coming to Forces Command, he led the III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas, and was a military assistant to the Secretary of Defense.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has described Milley as “a warrior and a statesman.”
“He not only has plenty of operational and joint experience in Afghanistan, in Iraq and on the Joint Staff, but he also has the intellect and vision to lead change throughout the Army,” said Carter.
Milley was considered a dark horse among a field of potential nominees that included Gen. Daniel Allyn, the vice chief of staff, Gen. John Campbell, the top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Perkins, the commanding general of Training and Doctrine Command, and Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Army Pacific.
During his 34 years of service, Milley has deployed to Egypt, Panama, Haiti, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. His awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters, the Combat Infantryman Badge with star, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Scuba Diver Badge, the Ranger tab, and the Special Forces tab.
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Meet the Army’s New Chief of Staff: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory