U.S. President Trump is expected to name Mark Milley as next chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff

Washington. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to name the Army’s top general, Mark Milley, as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday, in a decision that appears to be coming months earlier than expected.

Trump hinted earlier on Friday that he would be announcing new military leadership on Saturday when he attends the Army-Navy football game.

“It will have to do with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and succession,” he said.

Milley would succeed Marine General Joseph Dunford, who would normally stay in office as chairman until a slated Oct. 1, 2019 handover date. It was unclear whether that date would be brought forward as a result of an early announcement about his successor, if confirmed.

The Pentagon declined to comment and was not expected to issue any statements before Trump speaks on Saturday.

The expected change at the Pentagon comes as Trump overhauls his administration’s top leadership positions in the wake of the November mid-term elections. On Friday, he announced his picks for attorney general and ambassador to the United Nations.

Milley will oversee a U.S. military already in transition, as it wraps up the fight against Islamic State in Syria, seeks to bomb the Taliban into submission in Afghanistan and preserve the balance in the Pacific as China’s military flexes its muscles. It also faces an increasingly assertive Russia.

Like many of America’s top generals, Milley comes from a military family, with both his parents having served in World War Two. Milley was two decades into his military carrier when al Qaeda militants launched the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against Washington and New York City.

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