By DEB RIECHMANN | AP
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Wednesday confirmed President Barack Obama's pick to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., who is currently commandant of the Marine Corps, is expected to take over Oct. 1 for Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, who will retire after a 41-year Army career.
Dunford is a widely respected, combat-hardened commander who led the Afghanistan war coalition during a key transitional period during 2013-14.
During his 18 months in Afghanistan, Dunford oversaw the ongoing drawdown of U.S. troops, the transition to Afghan military lead in combat operations and the tumultuous Afghan elections that dragged on and stalled efforts to reach an agreement on the U.S. military's future presence in the country.
The promotion cut short Dunford's service as the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, a job he began last October. During his fast-tracked career, Dunford jumped from a one-star general to four stars in about three years.
Dunford, 59, is a Boston native who holds master's degrees in government from Georgetown University and international relations from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
The Senate confirmed Dunford on a voice vote.
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