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Milley, Hyten to Lead Joint Chiefs of Staff; Marine Lt. Gen. Smith to Command MCCDC

Current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford speaks with Army Gen. Mark Milley, who was nominated to serve as the next chairman, during the 2018 Army Navy Game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dec. 8, 2018. US Army photo.

The Pentagon announced its nominations for the next chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the generals who will lead the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and the Joint Strike Fighter Program.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan today announced that president nominated Army Gen. Mark Milley to serve as the next JCS chairman and Air Force Gen. John Hyten to serve as the next JCS vice chairman.

Milley is the current Army chief of staff, the top officer in the service. He was commissioned into the Army in 1980 and has commanded at all levels, including commanding general for the 10th Mountain Division, commanding general for III Corps and Fort Hood, and commanding general for International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command and deputy commanding general for U.S. Forces Afghanistan.

Prior to becoming the Army chief of staff, Milley served as the commander of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Hyten currently commands U.S. Strategic Command. He commissioned into the Air Force in 1981 and has served as commander and vice commander of Air Force Space Command, directed space acquisition programs for the Air Force and Pentagon and more.

Mrs. Smith and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller affix the 3-star rank insignia to the collar of Maj. Gen. Eric Smith during a ceremony held at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, Aug. 2, 2018. Major Gen. Smith was promoted to Lt. Gen. and appointed as the III Marine Expeditionary Force Commanding General. US Marine Corps photo.

The president also nominated Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Eric Smith to serve as the next deputy commandant for combat development and integration (CD&I) and commanding general of Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC). This position would be left open once current deputy commandant Lt. Gen. David Berger is confirmed to serve as the next commandant of the Marine Corps.

Smith currently serves as the commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF) and commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Japan. In this capacity, he is at the forefront of Marine Corps experimentation with new concepts such as expeditionary advance base operations and new equipment such as the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter stationed in Japan and operating aboard USS Wasp (LHD-1).

Smith was commissioned into the Marine Corps in 1987 and has commanded 1st Battalion, 5th Marines; commanded 8th Marine Regiment, including a one-year deployment to Afghanistan; served as director of the Capability Development Directorate under CD&I; commanded Marine Corps Forces Southern Command; served as assistant deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations; and served as commanding general of 1st Marine Division.

Additionally, the president nominated Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric Fick to serve as the next director of the Joint Strike Fighter Program, where Fick currently serves as the deputy director. Fick commissioned into the Air Force in 1990 and has served as program executive officer for fighters and bombers; program executive officer for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and special operations forces; commander of the Advanced Combat Systems Group at the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office; and operations officer and commander of the 46th Test Squadron. He will replace Vice Adm. Mat Winter