The next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is a four-star Marine who rose from the officer corps to command more than 20,000 troops.
The National Security Council announced Friday that Gen. Wayne F. Eyre, now a three-star Marine Corps general, will be taking over for Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, who had been serving as the civilian commander of the joint chiefs as well as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2015.
The announcement came as news that Dunford, who is set to retire in January, had agreed to extend his tenure as chairman by one year and said he’ll continue to serve until Sept. 29, 2020.
Dunford’s decision follows a tumultuous year for the joint chiefs, including a contentious nomination of a new Air Force chief of staff and Dunford’s handling of the Department of Defense’s response to reports that an intelligence officer was discharged from his Air Force post because of a Trump administration order banning transgender personnel from serving in the military.
Dunford made clear that he will end his term next September, but that is contingent on a National Security Council request from the commander in chief, according to a senior official who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and requested anonymity.
White House adviser Stephen Miller was instrumental in pushing for a change to the selection process for a new Joint Chiefs chairman and support came from within the White House, according to a White House official.
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The most recent process for selecting the next chairman began at the end of 2017 when Dunford recommended the nomination of Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford to serve a new three-year term.
According to the Joint Chiefs website, the process to nominate the next chairman involves a peer review by the other four-star military leaders who serve on the Joint Chiefs, an all-star panel appointed by Dunford who consists of former commanders and admirals with diverse experience in military operations.
Dunford would serve as chairman until Sept. 29, 2020.
Gen. Vincent Brooks, the current Army chief of staff, and Air Force chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein were also considered for the post.