WASHINGTON -- Lt. Gen. Joseph Martin, a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and director of the Army staff, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the next vice chief of staff of the Army. Martin's confirmation includes a promotion to four-star general. He will succeed Gen. James McConville, who was confirmed yesterday to be the next chief of staff of the Army.

"I am humbled and grateful for this tremendous honor," Martin said. "I have had no greater privilege than leading and serving with the great men and women of our United States Army, and am truly blessed to be able to continue being by their side as vice chief of staff."

Martin said that he plans to continue focusing on the Army's priorities of readiness, modernization and people, which he has worked to advance as director of the Army Staff.

"Ensuring that our forces have the best training and equipment possible is our fundamental responsibility," he said. "It is how we will to continue to attract the best and brightest into our ranks, and preserve and defend the liberties and freedom of this great nation."

Prior to his appointment as director of the Army Staff, Martin was the commanding general of 1st Infantry Division - the storied Big Red One. Martin deployed to Iraq three different times with that division.

Among his awards and honors are the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device, the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with "V" device, as well as the Combat Action and Parachutist badges.

Martin has a master's degree in education from the University of Louisville, and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.