Mark Alexander Milley (born June 18, 1958) is a United States Army general and the 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking officer in the United States military. He previously served as 39th Chief of Staff of the Army.[1]

Mark A. Milley
General Mark A. Milley.jpg
Milley in 2019
Birth nameMark Alexander Milley
Born (1958-06-18) June 18, 1958 (age 61)
Winchester, Massachusetts, U.S.
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1980–present
RankGeneral
Commands heldChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
United States Army Forces Command
III Corps
International Security Assistance Force Joint Command
10th Mountain Division
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light)
Battles/warsOperation Just Cause
Operation Uphold Democracy
Operation Joint Endeavor
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Defense Superior Service Medal (3)
Legion of Merit (3)
Bronze Star Medal (4)

Early life and educationEdit

Born in Winchester, Massachusetts, Milley attended the Belmont Hill School.[2] He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics from Princeton University, a Master of Arts degree in international relations from Columbia University, and another Master of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies from the United States Naval War College.[3] He is also a graduate of the MIT Center for International Studies Seminar XXI National Security Studies Program.[4]

Military careerEdit

 
Mark Milley as Army Chief of Staff

Although Milley earned his commission as an Armor officer through Princeton's Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps program in 1980, he has spent most of his career in Infantry assignments.[5]

Milley has served in the 82nd Airborne Division, the 5th Special Forces Group,[6] the 7th Infantry Division, the 2nd Infantry Division, the Joint Readiness Training Center, the 25th Infantry Division, Operations Staff of the Joint Staff, and as a Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon.[7] In November 2000, he participated in the 2nd Annual Army-Navy Ice Hockey Game in Honolulu, Hawaii, a charity event benefiting youth ice hockey players in the area.[8]

General Milley has had multiple command and staff positions in eight divisions and Special Forces throughout the last 39 years to include command of the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division; Milley commanded the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light) from December 2003 to July 2005, served as Deputy Commanding General (Operations), 101st Airborne Division from July 2007 to April 2008, and was Commander of the 10th Mountain Division from November 2011 to December 2012.[9] He then served as the Commanding General of III Corps, based at Fort Hood, Texas, from 2012 to 2014,[10] and as the Commanding General of United States Army Forces Command, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from 2014 to 2015. He was appointed Chief of Staff of the United States Army on August 14, 2015.[11]

Iraq War studyEdit

 
President Donald Trump shakes hands with General Mark Milley following the 9/11 Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., September 11, 2017

In 2018, Milley was involved in deciding whether the Army would publish a controversial study on the Iraq War. Milley reportedly decided that he wanted to read the two-volume, 1,300-page, 500,000-word study before making a decision. Milley also directed that an external panel of scholars review the work. After the panel returned glowing reviews on the study, including one that described the study as "the gold standard in official history," Milley continued to delay publication so he could review the study further.

In September 2018, Secretary of the Army Mark Esper and other Army officials decided to distance themselves from the study by casting the study "as an independent" work of the authors, instead of being described as a project by the Chief of Staff of the Army's Operation Iraqi Freedom Study Group." When confronted by a journalist from the Wall Street Journal in October 2018, Milley reversed these decisions, ordering the study to be published officially, and with a foreword that he would write. He declared the team that wrote the study "did a damn good job," that the study itself was "a solid work," and noted that he aimed to publish the study by the holidays (2018).[12]

Within days of this revelation, two members of Congress who sit on the House Armed Services Committee (Reps. Jackie Speier, D-California, and Ruben Gallego, D-Arizona) sent a letter to Army leaders expressing their anger over the delay. In a press release accompanying the letter to Milley and Esper, Rep. Spier said, "This is simply the Army being unwilling to publicly air its mistakes. Our military, Congress, and the American people deserve nothing less than total transparency on the lessons the Army has identified so that we may use those lessons to avoid costly, and too often deadly, mistakes of the past."[13] The study was published January 17, 2019.[14]

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffEdit

 
Gen. Milley at the Pentagon as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, October 30, 2019
 
Gen. Milley, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and members of the 101st Airborne Division tour the Bois Jacques during the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, 2019

On December 8, 2018, President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Milley to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[15][16] On July 25, 2019, the United States Senate confirmed Milley's nomination by a vote of 89–1,[17][18] and he was sworn in on September 30, 2019.[19][20][21][22]

After attending 75th anniversary commemorations of the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and Luxembourg on December 16, 2019, Milley met with the Russian military chief of staff Valery Gerasimov in Bern, Switzerland, on December 18. This continued a series of regular meetings between the American and Russian military chiefs reestablished by Milley's predecessor Joseph Dunford in 2017 to ensure open communication and avoid conflict, especially in Syria.[23] The face-to-face meeting was arranged with the assistance of the incoming Swiss military chief Thomas Süssli.[24]

Operational deploymentsEdit

Milley has had multiple operational deployments including:

Awards and decorationsEdit

  Combat Infantryman Badge with Star (denoting 2nd award)
  Expert Infantryman Badge
  Special Forces Tab
  Ranger tab
  Master Parachutist Badge
  Special Operations Diver Badge
  Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
  Army Staff Identification Badge
  French Parachutist Badge
  101st Airborne Division Combat Service Identification Badge
  506th Infantry Regiment Distinctive Unit Insignia
  10 Overseas Service Bars
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster
     Army Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
    Defense Superior Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters
    Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
     Bronze Star Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with silver oak leaf cluster
      Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
     Meritorious Unit Commendation with three oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with two service stars
     Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three campaign stars
    Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars
  Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
  Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  Korea Defense Service Medal
  Humanitarian Service Medal
  Army Service Ribbon
   Army Overseas Service Ribbon with bronze award numeral 5
NATO Medal for service with ISAF with bronze service star
  Multinational Force and Observers Medal
  French National Order of Merit, Commander[25]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Chief of Staff of the Army | General Mark A. Milley". United States Army. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  2. ^ Berkowitz, Bram (August 27, 2015). "Winchester Native Mark A. Milley Becomes U.S. Army Chief of Staff". Winchester Star. Winchester, MA.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Art, Robert (September 1, 2015). "From the Director: September, 2015". MIT Seminar XXI. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  5. ^ Graham-Ashley, Heather (December 20, 2012). "III Corps' new commander views road ahead, training, support". III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  6. ^ Gal Perl Finkel, The IDF that Eisenkot leaves behind is ready, The Jerusalem Post, January 1, 2019.
  7. ^ U.S. Army Forces Command, Commanding General Archived 2015-09-06 at the Wayback Machine, www.army.mil/forscom, dated August 15, 2014, last accessed August 15, 2015
  8. ^ "Honolulu Star-Bulletin Sports". archives.starbulletin.com.
  9. ^ Block, Gordon (December 4, 2012). "Fort Drum welcomes new 10th Mountain Division commander at ceremony". Watertown Daily Times. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  10. ^ Michelle Tan, Staff writer (May 13, 2015). "Gen. Mark Milley picked for Army chief of staff". Army Times.
  11. ^ Michelle Tan, Staff writer (August 14, 2015). "Milley takes over as new chief of staff; Odierno retires". Army Times.
  12. ^ Gordon, Michael R. (October 22, 2018). "The Army Stymied Its Own Study of the Iraq War" – via www.wsj.com.
  13. ^ South, Todd (October 25, 2018). "Army's detailed Iraq war study remains unpublished years after completion". Army Times.
  14. ^ "The U.S. Army in the Iraq War". January 17, 2019.
  15. ^ "Donald Trump makes it official: Gen. Mark Milley to chair Joint Chiefs of Staff". USA Today. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  16. ^ Bowman, Tom (December 8, 2019). "Meet Mark Milley, Trump's Pick For Joint Chiefs Chairman". NPR. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  17. ^ On the Nomination (Confirmation: General Mark A. Milley to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), United States Senate, July 25, 2019
  18. ^ Cooper, Helene (September 29, 2019). "How Mark Milley, a General Who Mixes Bluntness and Banter, Became Trump's Top Military Adviser". The New York Times. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  19. ^ Macias, Amanda (September 30, 2019). "Trump oversees swearing-in of Gen. Mark Milley as the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff". CNBC. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  20. ^ Babb, Carla (September 30, 2019). "New Top US Military Officer Takes Helm Amid Iran Tensions, Afghan Violence". Voice of America. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  21. ^ Baldor, Lolita C. (September 30, 2019). "Gen. Milley faces challenges as next Joint Chiefs chairman". Associated Press. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  22. ^ Golby, Jim (October 1, 2019). "President Trump tapped Gen. Mark Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Here are 3 things to know". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  23. ^ Detsch, Jack (December 18, 2019). "Intel: Top US and Russian generals link up to talk Syria". Al-Monitor. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  24. ^ Hashmi, Faizan (December 19, 2019). "Russian General Staff Chief, Top Swiss Army Commander Meet In Bern - Defense Ministry". UrduPoint Network. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  25. ^ "U.S. Embassy France". Twitter.com. November 11, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
James Terry
Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Stephen Townsend
Preceded by
Donald Campbell
Commanding General of III Corps
2012–2014
Succeeded by
Sean MacFarland
Preceded by
James Terry
Commanding General of ISAF-Joint Command
2013–2014
Succeeded by
Joseph Anderson
Preceded by
Daniel Allyn
Commanding General of United States Army Forces Command
2014–2015
Succeeded by
Robert B. Abrams
Preceded by
Raymond T. Odierno
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
2015–2019
Succeeded by
James C. McConville
Preceded by
Joseph Dunford
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
2019–present
Incumbent
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Barbara Barrett
as Secretary of the Air Force
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Succeeded by
Jerome Powell
as Chair of the Federal Reserve