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Dempsey Confirmed As Next U.S. Joint Chiefs Head

U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey
The United States Senate has confirmed U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff.

Dempsey, 59, will replace Admiral Mike Mullen as the highest-ranking U.S. military officer at the end of September. Mullen has held the post since 2007.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who assumed office earlier this year after serving as CIA director, has welcomed the Senate's confirmation of Dempsey and of Admiral James Winnefeld as the new Joint Chiefs vice chairman.

Panetta said in a statement that both men have "immense intellect, proven leadership, and far-reaching strategic vision," and that the Obama administration will "greatly benefit from their candid advice and counsel."

Dempsey, who holds a master's degree in English literature in addition to masters from military schools, is expected to join with Panetta in managing cuts in U.S. defense spending as the administration seeks to wind down American military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

compiled from agency reports