On April 14, President Donald J. Trump advanced nine high-level nominees.

  • Gen. Mark Milley, as Chairman of Joint Chiefs
  • Gen. John Hyten, as Vice Chairman of Joint Chiefs
  • Gen. James McConville, as Army Chief of Staff
  • LTG Joseph Martin, as Army Vice Chief of Staff
  • Adm. Bill Moran, as Chief of Naval Operations
  • VADM Robert Burke, as Vice Chief of Naval Operations
  • Lt.Gen. David Berger, as USMC Commandant
  • Lt.Gen. Eric Smith, as USMC Marine Corps Combat Development Command
  • USAF Maj. Gen. Eric Fick, as Director of the F-35 Joint Program Office

 It is unusual to have this many of the service’s top leadership, along with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, turning over. Following is more on each:

Gen. Mark Milley, as Chairman of Joint Chiefs

Since August 14, 2015, Milley has served as the Army Chief of Staff.

Milley is from Winchester, Massachusetts, a suburb of the Boston area. He graduated and received his commission from Princeton University in 1980. Since then, he has had multiple command and staff positions in eight divisions and Special Forces throughout the last 35 years, including the 82nd Airborne, 101st Air Assault, 10th Mountain, and others. Milley also earned a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Columbia University.

As Army Chief of Staff, Milley has focused on readiness — specifically, on reducing the proportion of non-deployable soldiers — and some of the Army’s key modernization priorities, including long-range precision fires, next-gen combat vehicle, and individual soldier lethality.

Gen. Mark Milley

Gen. John Hyten, as Vice Chairman of Joint Chiefs

Since November 2016, Hyten has served as the head of USSTRATCOM, which focuses on strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations, joint electronic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting.

Hyten studied engineering at Harvard University on an Air Force Reserve Officer’s Training Corps scholarship, where he graduated in 1981. General Hyten’s career includes assignments in a variety of space acquisition and operations positions.

As Vice Chairman, Hyten will likely push for more strategic missile and space assets.

Gen. John Hyten

Gen. James McConville, as Army Chief of Staff

Since June 16, 2017, Gen. McConville has been the Vice Army Chief of Staff to Gen. Mark Milley.

He is a native of Quincy, Massachusetts, and a graduate of West Point. He also holds a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. Early on, Gen McConville was an Army Aviator, qualified in flying AH-64D Longbow Apache, OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, AH-6, AH-1 Cobra and other aircrafts.

Before assuming the role of the second-highest Army general, McConville was the commanding general of the 101st Air Assault Division.

McConville will likely continue to pursue many of the Army’s current modernization and readiness initiatives.

Gen. James McConville

LTG Joseph Martin, as Army Vice Chief of Staff

In May 2018, Martin was nominated to be the Director of the Army staff. However, he’s more well-known for being the commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division during the battle to reclaim Mosul in 2017.

Martin graduated from West Point and also holds a Master’s in Education from the University of Louisville.

LTG. Joseph Martin

Adm. Bill Moran, as Chief of Naval Operations

Since June 2016, Moran served as the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Before then, he was the Navy’s personnel chief from 2013 to 2016.

Moran is a New York native, who commissioned through the Naval Academy in 1981. Moran was a naval aviator early on in his career.

As the Chief of Naval Personnel, he led a number of changes that emphasized performance and leadership in promotion decisions and overhauled training. Moran has been an outspoken advocate for readiness, especially as the Navy focuses more on war with China or Russia.

Adm. Bill Moran

VADM Robert Burke, as Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

Burke replaced Adm. Bill Moran as the Navy’s personnel chief in 2016, where he concurrently served as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education

Burke grew up in Portage, Michigan, and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Western Michigan University and the University of Central Florida.

Given Burke’s ties to the nominated Navy Chief and his past comments, it is likely they’ll pursue similar goals focused on readiness.

VADM. Robert Burke

Lt.Gen. David Berger, as USMC Commandant

Most recently, Berger served as the commanding general for the Marine Corps’ Combat Development Command, which develops the Marine Corps’ doctrine, and Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration.

Berger graduated and commissioned from Tulane University in 1981, where he commissioned as an Infantry officer. He also has a Master of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

In July 2014, he served as the head of Marine expeditionary forces for the Pacific.

Berger has been a strong proponent for empowering small-unit leaders and is outspoken about cyber and high-tech threats in future warfare.

Lt.Gen. David Berger

Lt.Gen. Eric Smith, as USMC Marine Corps Combat Development Command.

Since August 2018, Smith has been commanding general of the III Marine Expeditionary Force and commander of Marine Forces in Japan.

Smith is from Plano, Texas and entered the Marine Corps in 1987 through the NROTC program at Texas A&M University.

Before his current job, Smith was the Assistant Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies and Operations. Smith’s exit is extremely early for most leaders of Marine Forces in Japan.

Lt. Gen. Eric Smith

USAF Maj. Gen. Eric Fick, as Director of the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO)

Since May 2017, Fick has served as the Deputy Program Executive Officer (PEO) for the F-35 program.

General Fick entered the Air Force in September of 1990 after graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering.

Before his current position, Fick was the Director of Global Reach Programs for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, where he was responsible for the $5.6 billion airlift, air refueling, training, and special operations programs portfolio.

Maj. Gen. Eric Fick