President Barack Obama plans to name a trusted military adviser with ties to his drawdown of troops in Afghanistan as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, multiple officials confirmed to CNN on Monday.
Obama plans to name Gen. Joseph F. Dunford to the post at the White House on Tuesday.
Dunford currently serves as the commandant of the Marine Corps. He’ll replace Gen. Martin Dempsey, who served in the top military role since 2011.
Before taking the top job at the Marine Corps, Dunford acted as the top military commander in Afghanistan, leading the international effort there as Obama seeks to withdraw American troops.
Dunford must first be confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate before assuming the new post.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain offered praise for the presumed pick on Monday.
“I’ve known him very well for many years and he’s an outstanding leader,” said McCain, a Vietnam war veteran. “I’m very, extremely enthusiastic about his selection. He’s a combat veteran. He’s a warrior.”
A Boston native with a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University and another master’s in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Dunford served as an infantry officer and commanded the 5th Marine Regiment during the Iraq war. He’s also held a long list of top Marine posts.