(NewsNation) — Looming vacancies in the Joint Chiefs of Staff are giving President Joe Biden the chance to pick his own military advisers.
POLITICO reports as many as five members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are scheduled to leave their assignments this year. The Joint Chiefs chair, the heads of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and potentially the Air Force are all set to leave, per POLITICO.
What does the position entail?
Established in January 1942 to facilitate “strategic coordination” during World War II, the Joint Chiefs of Staff is made up of the eight most senior uniformed leaders who are at the center of U.S. military planning, according to its website.
Altogether, the Joint Chiefs of Staff consist of: the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau and the Chief of Space Operations.
While the chairman of the Joint Chiefs is the principal military adviser to the president, all members are military advisers by law, according to their website.
“They may respond to a request or voluntarily submit, through the Chairman, advice or opinions to the President, the Secretary of Defense, or National Security Council,” according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff website.
Who is currently in it?
Chairman Mark A. Milley serves as the current chair. Before that, he was chief of staff of the Army. Originally from Massachusetts, Milley received a commission from the Army ROTC at Princeton University.
Throughout Milley’s career, he’s held multiple staff and command positions, such as commanding general of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and deputy commanding general of U.S. Forces Afghanistan.
“Today, we face a complex and volatile global security environment with a wide range of challenges,” Milley said in a message to the Joint Force in 2019. “We will meet those challenges and we stand ready to keep the peace and, if necessary, win the war on the land, at sea, in the air, in space and cyberspace.”
The other members of the Joint Chiefs are: Vice Chairman Navy Adm. Christopher W. Grady; Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James C. McConville; Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger; Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael M. Gilday; Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.; Chief of the National Guard Bureau Army Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson; and Chief of Space Operations B.Chance Saltzman.
Who could replace them?
No formal announcements have been made yet, but POLITICO talked to current and former Department of Defense officials, as well as an academic leader who knows about the discussions, to see who could possibly be tapped for the positions.
The frontrunner for Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair, according to the publication? Air Force Gen. C.Q. Brown, the first Black man to serve as Air Force Chief of staff, is a fighter pilot by training and “has stellar credentials, serving as commander of the service’s forces both in the Middle East and in the Pacific,” POLITICO said.
Also being considered by The White House, POLITICO said, is Gen. David Berger, the Marine Corps Commandant. He’s served in the post since July 2019 and commanded troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Pacific.
Another name insiders floated is Army Gen. Laura Richardson, an Army officer serving as the commander of U.S. Southern Command. Richardson is a helicopter pilot and commanding general of U.S. Army North, who has commanded an assault helicopter battalion in Iraq. She’s also been a military aide to former Vice President Al Gore.
Frontrunner for the Army, POLITICO predicted, was Army Gen. Randy George. For the Navy, it was Adm. Lisa Franchetti; Gen. Jacqueline Von Ovost for the Air Force; and Gen. Eric Smith was POLITICO’s pick for who’s most likely to be the Marine Corps chief.