The White House is putting out the unofficial word today to the big news outlets that the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be Army Gen. Martin Dempsey. Currently the Army's top general, he is known not only for his military skills but for his political and diplomatic savvy, reports the New York Times. It will be a remarkably quick rise to the top for 59-year-old Dempsey, notes Politico. He gained renown for his combat command in Iraq. (And he's not a bad singer, either, as the video in the gallery proves.)
Obama is expected to make the news official in a Memorial Day announcement. Dempsey will assume his role as one of the president's top military advisers when Adm. Mike Mullen retires from the joint chiefs post in September. He'll be working with Leon Panetta, who is leaving the CIA to become defense secretary, and Gen. David Petraeus, who is taking Panetta's job at the CIA. Obama had until recently been expected to pick Marine Gen. James Cartwright, even telling him, 'You're my guy," until Cartwright's critics launched a successful West Wing lobbying blitz, reports the Washington Post.