Odierno nominated as next CSA as Dempsey moves up
September 6, 2011
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 1, 2011) -- President Barack Obama announced May 30, 2011, that he will nominate Gen. Raymond T. Odierno as the next chief of staff of the Army.
Obama also announced he will nominate Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the Army's current chief of staff, to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Dempsey is expected to replace Adm. Mike Mullen when his term as chairman ends, Sept. 30. The president made the announcement in the White House Rose Garden just before departing to Arlington National Cemetery for the national Memorial Day ceremony there.
"I'm announcing my choice for their successors today because it's essential that this transition be seamless and that we stay focused on the urgent national security challenges before us," Obama said.
If the Senate approves the nominations, Odierno -- known for overseeing the transition from surge to stability operations in Iraq from September 2008 to September 2010 -- will replace Dempsey as the chief of the staff after just five months of holding the Army's highest military position.
Dempsey became the 37th Army chief of staff April 11, 2011.
While Dempsey will have served just over five months as the chief of staff of the Army, his term in the position is not the shortest among Army chiefs. That record is held by Lt. Gen. John C. Bates, who served from Jan. 15, 1906 to April 13, 1906, serving just under three months in the position. However, Maj. John Doughty served in an equivalent position, as the United States Army's "senior officer," from June 20, 1784 to Aug. 12, 1784 -- a stint of just 53 days.
Among those serving in the chief of staff position, a title first used in 1903, it was Gen. George Marshall who held the position longest, more than six years, from Sept. 1, 1939 to Nov. 18, 1945. He served in the position for the duration of World War II. And Gen. Winfield Scott served longest in the Army's top position, as its commanding general for 20 years, up through the first months of the Civil War.
Odierno currently serves as commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, which is being deactivated no later than Aug. 31, 2011. He entered the Army in 1976 and served as a platoon leader with the 56th Field Artillery Brigade.
Gen. David Petraeus, now commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, served together with Odierno in the earliest days of the conflict in Iraq, in 2003.
During the recent surge in Iraq, Petraeus served as Multi-National Forces-Iraq commander while Odierno served as the Multi-National Corps-Iraq commander.
"His leadership of MNC-I was absolutely magnificent, his operational vision was exceptional, his determination was extraordinary, and his drive was legendary," Petraeus said. "It was an enormous privilege to have him as a key member of the team during that pivotal period in Iraq."
Odierno assumed Petraeus' position at MNF-I in September 2008 and was there through its transition to USF-I. Odierno "continued to make a tremendous impact in the land of the two rivers as the overall commander there for another two years," Petraeus said.
In October 2010, Odierno took command of U.S. Joint Forces Command, "shouldering with great skill and vision, the delicate task of transitioning vital capabilities of JFCOM to other organizations to enable the disestablishment of that command," Petraeus said.
The president himself commented on Odierno's successes in Iraq when making the announcement regarding his nomination to the chief of staff position.
"In three pivotal deployments to Iraq, he commanded the troops that captured Saddam Hussein, partnered with General Petraeus to help bring down the violence, and then transferred responsibility to Iraqi forces, allowing us to remove some 100,000 American troops and end our combat mission," Obama said.
"After years on the front lines, Ray understands what the Army must do -- to prevail in today's wars, to prepare for the future, and to preserve the readiness of the Soldiers and families who are the strength of America's families," Obama said.