United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

Official Seal of the Department of Defense

General Martin E. Dempsey

Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army
9-11 Memorial

General Martin E. Dempsey

General Martin E. Dempsey assumed duty as the Army’s 37th Chief of Staff on 11 April 2011. During his previous 36 years of service, General Dempsey has served in a variety of professionally rewarding and developmental positions across the Army in both the generating and operating force. 

Past assignments have taken him and his family across the country and world both during peace and times of war from the platoon to the Combatant Command level. Following graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1974, General Dempsey received his commission as an Armor Officer. As a company grade officer, GEN Dempsey served with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in United States Army Europe and with the 10th Cavalry at Fort Carson. Following troop command he earned his Masters of Arts in English from Duke University and was subsequently assigned to the English Department at West Point where he served as an instructor and Assistant Professor. GEN Dempsey has also earned Masters Degrees from the Command and General Staff College (1987) and National War College (1995). In 1991, GEN Dempsey deployed with the Third Armored Division in support of OPERATION DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. He then served in Human Resources Command as the Armor Branch Chief and from 1996-1998 as the 67th Colonel of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment. Following command he served on the Joint Staff as an Assistant Deputy Director in J-5 and as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C. 

From September 2001 to June 2003, General Dempsey served in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a training and advisory role as the Program Manager, Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program. In June of 2003, General Dempsey took command of the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad, Iraq. After 14 months in Iraq, General Dempsey redeployed the division to Germany and completed his command tour in July of 2005. He then deployed to Iraq again for two years in August of 2005 to train and equip the Iraqi Security Forces as Commanding General of MNSTC-I. From August 2007 through October 2008, GEN Dempsey served as the Deputy Commander and then Acting Commander of U.S. Central Command. Most recently he commanded US Army Training and Doctrine Command. 

General Dempsey and his high school sweetheart and wife Deanie have three children: Chris, Megan, and Caitlin. Each has served in the United States Army. Chris remains on active duty. They have three wonderful grandchildren: Kayla and Mackenna by Chris and daughter-in-law Julie, and Luke by Caitlin and son-in-law Shane. Megan and her husband Kory are expecting twins this summer. 

General Dempsey’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star with “V” Device, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.



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