- Associated Press - Monday, May 30, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Obama has chosen veteran U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey to succeed Navy Adm. Mike Mullen as chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mr. Obama‘s announcement Monday moves the president close to completion of the rebuilding of his national security team as he continues to lead American war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and prepares to seek a second term in 2012.

During an appearance under sunny skies in the Rose Garden of the White House, Mr. Obama hailed General Dempsey, a 40-year soldier, calling him “one of our nation’s most respected and combat-tested generals.”

Mr. Obama also announced that he has picked Navy Adm. James Winnefeld to be vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs. The president said he has chosen Army Gen. Ray Odierno, another Iraq war veteran, to replace Gen. Dempsey as Army chief of staff.

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