New Joint Chiefs Chairman Could Be Named Monday


Admiral Mike Mullen, who just last month made a stop in Boise, is reportedly on board with President Obama's pick to replace Mullen as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The New York Times reports that Obama could announce Gen. Martin Dempsey's nomination as early as Monday.

If approved, Dempsey would become the military's highest-ranking officer and a crucial member of the president's national security team. The team is about to undergo a significant shift as Gen. David Patraeus takes over as director of the CIA when its current director, Leon Panetta, presumably takes over as defense secretary when Robert Gates retires in June.

A West Point graduate, Dempsey earned a master's degree from Duke and is responsible for stabilization of the Iraqi capital region in 2003, when he took command of the U.S. Army division there. He's a three-star brigadier general with 36 years of active service.

According to the Times, Dempsey keeps a carved wooden box on his desk. Inside, he keeps laminated cards, each bearing a photograph and biographical information on each of the 122 soldiers killed in action during Dempsey's 15-month mission in Iraq.