By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, May 13, 2015 – President Barack Obama has nominated Gen. Mark A. Milley as the next Army chief of staff, and Adm. John M. Richardson as the next chief of naval operations, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said here today.
If confirmed by the Senate, Milley would replace Gen. Ray Odierno and Richardson would replace Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert. Milley and Richardson would be members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Army Secretary John M. McHugh, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accompanied Carter at the lectern.
Milley is currently serving as the commander U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Richardson now is the director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.
Nominees to ‘Build the Force of the Future’
Carter called Milley a warrior and a statesman.
“He not only has plenty of operational and joint experience in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Joint Staff, he also has the intellect and vision to lead change throughout the Army,” the secretary said. The secretary said Milley was a clear choice for the job.
Richardson is the first officer to be nominated for chief of naval operations from the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. He assumed duties as the program’s director in 2012 and it is usually an eight-year term.
Carter called the admiral a “bold thinker” and tremendous leader. The admiral was “the go-to officer for many of the Navy’s tough issues in recent years,” the secretary said.
Richardson has been instrumental in handling issues such as the replacement of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine and dealing with problems of integrity and ethics.
Carter looks forward to working with both men “as we drive change, build the force of the future and help the president with real solutions for the national security challenges we face.”
Outgoing Chiefs ‘Performed Magnificently’
Carter thanked both Odierno and Greenert for their contributions.
“Both Ray and Jon have been tremendous leaders for their respective services over these last four years -- four years that have been critical for the military and the country,” the secretary said.
Carter said both officers faced an ever-changing security environment and an uncertain fiscal situation, and the men and women of the Army and Navy performed magnificently.
“President Obama, Chairman Dempsey and I could not have been better served,” the secretary said. “And the same is true of the American soldiers and sailors and their families across the country, and across the world.”
Milley, Richardson Accomplished Leaders
Milley is a 1980 ROTC graduate of Princeton University. Before commanding Forces Command, he commanded the Army’s 3rd Corps at Fort Hood, Texas, and in Afghanistan headed the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command. The general commanded the fabled 10th Mountain Division and he served as the deputy commanding general for the equally fabled 101st Airborne Division. He wears the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Special Forces Tab and Ranger Tab.
Richardson is a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He holds three master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the National War College.
A submariner, Richardson served on USS Parche, USS George C. Marshall and USS Salt Lake City. He commanded USS Honolulu in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He received the James B. Stockdale Leadership Award.
Richardson also served as commodore of Submarine Development Squadron 12 in Groton, Connecticut and the commander of Submarine Group 8.