Milley officially becomes new top military adviser as 20th chair of Joint...

Milley officially becomes new top military adviser as 20th chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff

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Army Gen. Mark Milley gives a speech during an award ceremony on Joint Base Myer - Henderson - Hall in Arlington, Va., Aug. 9, 2019. Gen. Milley was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Zachery Perkins)

ARLINGTON, Va. — The change of command at the top of the U.S. military occurred Monday morning, with the No. 1 uniformed officer moving from the Marine Corps to the Army.

The same festering problems worldwide remained unchanged.

That did not seem to sway Army Gen. Mark Milley, who became the 20th chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at a time when U.S. forces are in 160 countries.

“We will remain the world’s premier fighting force, respected by our friends and feared by our adversaries,” Milley said during his remarks, attended by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, among other dignitaries.

The Senate confirmed Milley in July to become chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing Marine Gen. Joe Dunford. He swore in Milley this morning.

The chair serves as the principal military adviser to the president. Last week the Senate approved Air Force Gen. John Hyten to become vice chair of the Joint Chiefs.

The ceremony was held outside at Summerall Field, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, in Arlington, Va., just south of the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery.

Also sworn in this morning was Ryan McCarthy as the 24th secretary of the Army. He replaces Esper, who was sworn in July 23.

‘The Army must modernize today or we could lose the next war,” McCarthy said in a statement to the force shared to Pentagon reporters. “We will remain focused on delivering the 31 signature systems our cross-functional teams are developing in support of six modernization priorities and ensure we can employ them the day they show up.”

The ceremony went on despite a slight rainfall. Trump sat without an umbrella. During his remarks, the president turned to Milley and said he had heard that rain during an important event brought luck. “Mark, I think you’re going to be the luckiest general in history,” Trump said.

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