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Obama To Name Dunford Joint Chiefs Chairman

General Joseph Dunford
General Joseph Dunford

U.S. President Barack Obama May 5 will nominate Marine Corps' General Joseph Dunford, a commander in both the Afghan and Iraq wars, as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, officials said.

Dunford, 59, would replace U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey, who is expected to step down in September as the top U.S. military officer. Dunford's pick was widely expected and is likely to win swift Senate confirmation.

Before becoming the top commander of the U.S. Marine Corps in 2014, Dunford led U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan as they handed over greater responsibility for security to Afghan troops.

He earned the nickname "Fighting Joe" on the battlefields of Iraq, where he helped lead forces during the U.S. invasion in 2003. Friends and colleagues describe him as a calm and thoughtful leader who created conditions for success with careful planning and harmonious execution.

Obama is expected to nominate U.S. Air Force General Paul Selva, currently the commander of the U.S. Transportation Command, as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters