Bloomberg News

Dempsey Becomes Chairman of Joint Chiefs, Top Military Adviser

September 30, 2011

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Army General Martin Dempsey was sworn in as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the top military adviser to President Barack Obama.

The U.S. is “moving forward from a position of strength,” Obama said today at a ceremony for the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia, outside Washington. “We will maintain our military superiority” and continue as a “force for freedom and security.”

Dempsey, 59, the 18th chairman, has been Army chief of staff since April and is a veteran of the war in Iraq who helped Iraqi troops in their security takeover. He replaces Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, who served in the post for four years. Mullen retires tomorrow.

Obama will be looking for advice from Dempsey and new Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in an era of budget cutting at the Pentagon while avoiding any erosion in U.S. readiness. Dempsey also takes over as the president withdraws remaining U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year and soldiers from Afghanistan by 2014.

Dempsey graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1974 with David Petraeus, the former top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan who is now director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

--Editors: Joe Sobczyk, Justin Blum

To contact the reporter on this story: Roger Runningen in Arlington, Virginia, at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at

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