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Trump, Pence welcome Gen. Milley as new Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, participates in an Armed Forces Welcome Ceremony in honor of the 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, at Summerall Field, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, VA (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
September 30, 2019

Army Gen. Mark Milley has been sworn in as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Monday.

Milley, who Trump nominated in December, was confirmed by the Senate in July and officially assumes command today to replace Gen. Joseph Dunford who retired after 42 years of Marine Corps service and a four-year term as the Chairman.

“I know I have big shoes to fill. I have known Joe Dunford throughout my career, served with him in combat, and I consider him a close personal friend — a friendship forged with the unbreakable bonds of combat that only shared sacrifice can produce,” Milley said during his remarks on Monday.

“We will remain the world’s premier fighting force, respected by our friends and feared by our adversaries,” Milley added.

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Trump was in attendance on Monday and delivered a 15-minute speech in the rain.

Trump told Milley, “You’re my friend, you’re my adviser, and you deserve this position. I never had a doubt,” as reported by The Hill.

“I have absolute confidence that he will fulfill his duty with the same brilliance and fortitude he has shown throughout his long and very distinguished career,” Trump said.

Trump also thanked Dunford for his service, and then spoke on the might of the U.S. military.

“No enemy on Earth can match the awesome might of the American Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the United States Marines,” Trump said.

“We have spent $2.5 trillion, far more than this country has ever thought of spending. But we had to have a modern, great military with the most magnificent and the finest machinery, planes, boats, ships, weapons of all kinds,” Trump added.

Milley served as Army Chief of Staff since 2015. Prior to that, he was the Army Forces commander at Fort Bragg, and held additionally commander and leadership positions on deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.

After graduation from Princeton University, Milley was commissioned in 1980, according to his Department of Defense bio. His military career has been one filled with deployments, numerous leadership positions, and extensive awards and accolades. Most of his operations have been in Infantry and Special Forces.