AFTER GENERAL MARK MILLEY RETIRES, WHO SHOULD BE THE NEXT CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF?
By Buddy Blouin
The U.S. military is full of jobs, ranks, and titles, and while the American Armed Forces is a collaborative effort among all those who serve, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the highest-ranking officer in the entire military. This role reports directly to the Secretary of Defense, as well as the President of the United States, and works with Homeland Security and National Security as the top military adviser. But by law, this position is appointed and must be vacated after a single four-year term. In 2023, General Mark Milley will retire, and some have an idea as to who should next fill the role.
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How Old Is General Mark Milley?General Mark Milley is 64 years old and has had an illustrious career in the U.S. Army. His career began after earning his commission as an armor officer in 1980 through Princeton's Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. Through the ups and downs, General Mark Milley served our country during a variety of pivotal moments in history. The ultimate culmination would see him reach the top of the military and represent the 20th Joint Chiefs Chairman after being appointed by President Donald Trump.
Who Is General Mark Milley?General Mark A. Milley was the 39th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army before being appointed as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 2019. Throughout his more than 40 years of service, General Milley has commanded a variety of military units and conducted operational deployments as well as joint assignments as needed across the world. He has served in a wide range of operations throughout Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and more. The successes and leadership Milley demonstrated throughout his career are how he was able to rise through the ranks into this role today. But now, retirement looks to be in the not-so-distant future, and America will need to appoint his successor.
Finding a New Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffIn 2023, a new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be appointed by the President of the United States after a vote passes the Senate. Nominations are thought to come from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin this year. Some believe that Air Force Officer and current USAF Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown Jr. should get the job. He's more than qualified, and there are plenty of benefits that would arise from his appointment. For starters, it would be a break away from appointing someone from the Army. While the Chairman and Vice Chairman must be from two different branches, the Army dominates the position throughout history. Of the 20 Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, half are from the Army. Having someone with experience in the Air Force may also help defend American interests in the present. War is changing, and what that looks like now and in the near future means a heavier emphasis on aerial warfare, particularly in Asia and Europe. While all branches of the military do their fair share of defending and implementing innovation, communication, and technology, it’s arguable that none do it quite like the USAF and U.S. Space Force. This could be a huge advantage, again, as the landscape of warfare is changing. The increasing emphasis on controlling the skies, nuclear weaponry (of which the USAF controls the most), and technological warfare present new threats that General Brown is equipped to handle. Finally, with most of his 3,000 hours of flight experience coming from combat aircraft and a focus on operations in the Pacific as of late, General Brown is prepared for this moment. Sure, there are many others with wonderful qualifications, but this could be the right person at the right time for the right position.
General Mark Milley’s Successor Will Have New Challenges AheadIt’s clear that whoever replaces General Mark Milley will have quite the task on their hands. Tensions continue to rise with North Korea and China, while there's also an ongoing war in Ukraine. No matter what lies ahead, one thing’s for sure: There are pressing issues that don’t look to be going away any time soon. If General Brown does get appointed, we can do a lot worse than having a four-star general lead us to victory.
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