- The Washington Times - Monday, August 3, 2020

Army general Daniel Hokanson became the newest member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Monday when he assumed the top spot at the National Guard Bureau in a ceremony at Fort Meyer in Washington.

Gen. Hokanson’s predecessor, retiring Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, was the last member of the Joint Chiefs to be nominated during the Obama Administration. Now, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the top officers at each military service were chosen by President Donald Trump.

As chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Hokanson will be the senior member of the Army and Air Force National Guard. The position has taken on increased importance in recent months with the National Guard having a lead role in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and dealing with several weeks of unrest in cities around the nation.

“Gen. Dan Hokanson takes charge during unprecedented and challenging times for our great nation,” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said during the ceremony. “He possesses the character, competence and wealth of experience needed to excel in this role.”

More than 65,000 members of the National Guard - both Army and Air Force - are carrying out missions for the Department of Defense both at home and aboard, said Mr. Esper, a former Army National Guard officer himself.

“Our nation is safer, stronger and more secure due to their dedication to their fellow Americans,” Mr. Esper said.

Gen. Hokanson was previously director of the Army National Guard. A West Point graduate, he served in combat in Panama during Operation Just Cause and later in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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