May 30 - Obama announces Army General Martin Dempsey as his pick to become the top military officer in the U.S. Deborah Gembara reports.
In Washington, President Obama announces Army General Martin Dempsey as his pick to be the U.S.'s top military officer. A warrior scholar, Dempsey, who commanded troops in Iraq would be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when current chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen steps down in October. Admiral James Winnefeld will serve as Dempsey's number two pending their confirmation by the Senate. SOUNDBITE: U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING (English): "I've selected General Dempsey and Admiral Winnefeld because of their record -- and potential -- as individuals. But I've also selected them because they will make an extraordinary team -- despite their competing loyalties to Army and Navy. Between them, they bring deep experience in virtually every domain -- land, air, space, sea, cyber. Both of them have the respect and the trust of our troops on the frontlines, our friends in Congress, and allies and partners abroad. And both of them have my full confidence." Obama touched on challenges the team faces. SOUNDBITE: U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING (English): "we have much to do -- from bringing our troops home from Iraq to beginning to reduce our forces in Afghanistan this summer and transitioning to Afghan lead; from defeating al Qaeda to protecting the Libyan people. All this, even as we make difficult budget decisions while keeping our military the finest fighting force in the world. The president made the announcement just before heading to Arlington cemetery to honor service members killed in combat. Deborah Gembara, Reuters.