General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

General Mark Milley

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Mark Alexander Milley was born in June 1958 in Winchester, Massachusetts. He holds a B.A. in political science from Princeton University, and a Master of Arts degree in international relations from Columbia University. He also received an M.A. in international security and security studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and is a graduate of the MIT Center for International Studies.

Milley earned his commission as an Army officer through Princeton’s Army ROTC program, and spent most of his career in Infantry or Special Forces assignments. He has served as the commanding general of U.S. Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and for III Corps based at Fort Hood, Texas. Prior to that, he served as the commander of the 10th Mountain Division.

He has been involved in the U.S. invasion of Panama, Operation Uphold Democracy, Operation Joint Endeavor, several operations in Iraq, and also in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

A four-star general, Milley assumed his position as the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army in August 2015. President Trump announced in December 2018 that Milley would serve as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In July 2019, he was confirmed in the Senate by a near-unanimous vote. He was sworn in in September 2019.

In the News…

The history of sexual assaults in the U.S. Armed Forces has been challenging for military leaders working on prevention, treatment, and prosecution, while members of Congress have called for change in methods of response. In 2018, the Defense Department found that more than 20,000 service members said they experienced some type of sexual assault, but only a third of those filed a formal report.

Now in what appears to be a significant shift in military policy, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says he is dropping his opposition to a proposal to take decisions on sexual assault prosecution out of the hands of commanders.  He stopped short of endorsing the changes recommended by an independent review panel, however.

“We’ve been at it [efforts to solve the problem] for years, and we haven’t effectively moved the needle,” General Milley said. “We have to. We must.”

General Milley said he would reserve judgment on the proposal to take prosecution authority on sexual assault cases away from commanders until the review commission has finished its work and its recommendations are fully debated within the military leadership.

The review commission submitted its initial recommendations to Defense Secretary Austin late last month. Officials have said they expect him to give service leaders about a month to review and respond.


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