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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffArmy Gen. Mark A. Milley

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the nation’s highest-ranking military officer and the principal military advisor to the president, the secretary of defense and the National Security Council.


Before becoming the 20th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark A. Milley served as chief of staff of the Army. He has held multiple staff and command positions, including serving as the commanding general of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and deputy commanding general of U.S. Forces Afghanistan. A native of Massachusetts, Milley graduated from Princeton University in 1980, where he received his commission from Army ROTC. He has two master’s degrees: in international relations from Columbia University and in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College.

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Joint Chiefs of Staff

Established in January 1942 to expedite strategic coordination during World War II, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been at the center of U.S. military planning ever since.


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Office of the Secretary of Defense

Top civilian defense decision-makers work with the secretary to develop policy, operational and fiscal plans, manage resources and evaluate programs.