Army general Martin Dempsey, a warrior-scholar who commanded troops in the Iraq war, was nominated as the top U.S. military officer by President Barack Obama on Monday, Reuters reported.
If the U.S. Senate confirms, Dempsey would replace Admiral Mike Mullen as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mullen is due to step down on October 1.
Hailing Dempsey as one of our nation's respected and combat-tested generals at a White House ceremony, Obama said it was essential to ensure that the transitions are seamless and that we stay focused on the urgent national security challenges before us, reported Reuters.
Of late, Obama has made a number of changes in the national security team. In April, he announced CIA Director Leon Panetta as the replacement of the departing Robert Gates as defense secretary. He also chose Army General David Petraeus, commander of the Afghanistan war effort, to replace Panetta as head of the CIA, the Reuters report said.
Dempsey, who is currently serving as Army chief of staff, would be succeeded by General Raymond Odierno in the Army job.
Admiral James Winnefeld, commander of U.S. Northern Command, was nominated as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Obama has made the moves amid growing pressure to speed up a troop drawdown in Afghanistan and continuous questions about the U.S. military involvement in Libya.
The U.S. military is also facing pressure for budget cuts in the Department of Defense. The United States is struggling with a budget deficit of $1.4 trillion as well as rising debt levels, Reuters reported.