Know Your Military

McConville Succeeds Milley as Army Chief of Staff

Aug. 9, 2019 | BY Jim Garamone

Acting Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy swore in Gen. James C. McConville as the 40th Army chief of staff during a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia.

McConville succeeds Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, who has been confirmed as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and will take office at the end of September.

A man speaks at a podium.
Army Gen. James C. McConville
Army Gen. James C. McConville speaks during a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Aug. 9, 2019, in which he succeeds Army Gen. Mark A. Milley as Army chief of staff.
Photo By: Screenshot, DOD
VIRIN: 190908-D-ZZ999-004

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey also finished his term of office and was succeeded by Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston at today's ceremony.

McConville stressed two things in his remarks at the event: winning and people. There are no participation trophies for war, he said, and the U.S. Army has to be prepared to win in any conflict it gets into. He also said that people are at the root of any success the service has had throughout its history, and that he will continue to emphasize their well-being and contributions.

Five men stand shoulder to shoulder during a ceremony.
Gen. James C. McConville
Army Gen. James C. McConville succeeds Gen. Mark A. Milley as Army chief of staff, and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston succeeds Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey in the Army’s top enlisted position during a ceremony hosted by Acting Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Aug. 9, 2019.
Photo By: Screenshot, DOD
VIRIN: 190908-D-ZZ999-002

Milley steps down after an eventful four-year tenure as the chief of the nation's senior service. McCarthy called the general's time in office "one of the most consequential in recent Army history."

Under Milley, he said, the service recovered from the readiness woes caused by sequestration and funding starvation. The Army shifted from a counterinsurgency and counterterrorism force to one confronting the threat of peer competitors such as China and Russia. The service also looked to the future, and Milley put in place Army Futures Command so Army leaders will have the equipment, doctrine and training they need to fight in a multidomain battlefield and win. "We need to move even faster in the future," McCarthy said.

Man speaks to troops in the field.
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Army Gen. James C. McConville (right), speaks to cadets during a field training exercise at Fort Knox, Ky., July 17, 2019. McConville became the 40th Army chief of staff during a ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Aug. 9, 2019.
Photo By: Mary Kate Griffin, Army
VIRIN: 190717-O-MN346-828

Milley said the service's teams of soldiers and civilians are dedicated to ensuring the Army remains the preeminent ground combat force in the world. He thanked all soldiers in all components — active, Guard and Reserve — noting that the service cannot do what it does without all of them.

McCarthy, Milley and McConville all commented on the changes to the service, and all noted the changes were coming against the backdrop of fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. Soldiers are also providing assurance to allies in Eastern Europe, while other Army units are deploying to Korea.

Soldiers also are helping civilian agencies along the U.S. border with Mexico and continue to be ready to aid first responders in case of natural disasters such as hurricanes or wildfires.

"Our Army is incredible, and our Army is strong, and it is getting stronger," Milley said. "And the only way to explain it is the extraordinary work of our people."