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Gates wants Dempsey as new Army chief of staff

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The general now heading Army training is Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' choice to be the next Army chief of staff.

Mr. Gates told a Pentagon press conference Thursday that he had recommended Gen. Martin Dempsey for the job. If President Obama accepts and nominates Gen. Dempsey, the general would have to be confirmed by the Senate.

Gen. Dempsey would replace Gen. George Casey, who leaves the Army's top uniformed post in the spring.

Gen. Dempsey is now commander of the Army Training and Doctrine Command and previously was acting commander of Central Command. He also led the multinational training effort in Iraq and commanded the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad.

"General Casey is scheduled to finish his tour later this spring, and we obviously will have more to say at that point about his nearly four decades of dedicated service to the Army and to the country," Mr. Gates said in a brief announcement.

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