Army chief expected to win Joint Chiefs post

July 26, 2011 - 3:15 AM

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, left, shakes the hand of Sgt. 1st Class Casey Roberts, with Lt. Thomas Harper at center, before Roberts, Harper, and four other members of the U.S. Special Forces were presented with the French

WASHINGTON (AP) — Army Gen. Martin Dempsey is facing his Senate confirmation hearing as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing Navy Adm. Mike Mullen.

If, as expected, Dempsey wins full Senate approval after testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, he will take over Oct. 1.

That would nearly complete a series of changes at the top level of President Barack Obama's national security team, including new Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Dempsey has taken an unusually twisted path to the top military post. He had been sworn in as Army chief on April 11; barely a month later he found himself chosen for the Joint Chiefs job. As a result, he's destined to go down in history as one of the shortest-serving Army chiefs.