Gen. Joseph Dunford has become the new commandant of the Marine Corps. (Lauren Victoria Burke/The Associated Press)
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It’s official: Gen. Joseph “Fighting Joe” Dunford will be the 36th commandant of the Marine Corps.
Dunford, 58, was confirmed without objection by the Senate Wednesday night, just seven days after he appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee for a hearing on his nomination.
The current commander of International Security Assistance Force, over all NATO forces in Afghanistan, Dunford fielded numerous questions about the conflict and drawdown and sustainment efforts in Afghanistan during his confirmation hearing.
Members of the panel nonetheless made clear they fully supported his promotion to commandant.
“I think this amazing capability, competence, loyalty, patriotism to our country will continue,” said committee chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., as he urged his colleagues to move for a quick confirmation.
The current commandant, Gen. Jim Amos, greeted the news of Dunford’s confirmation warmly.
“Joe is one of the most talented leaders and strategic thinkers in the military today,” he said in a statement. “His tenure as commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. Forces - Afghanistan has been extraordinary, and is testament to the full measure of the man. Our country and our Marine Corps will benefit greatly from his continued service.”
Prior to his ISAF post, Dunford has a number of prestigious bona fides. He commanded the 5th Marine Regiment during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and served as commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force in 2009, promoted rapidly from one star to three. Dunford then served two years as assistant commandant of the Marine Corps under the current commandant, Gen. Jim Amos, before assuming his current post in Afghanistan. He also earned a spot this year as one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 greatest contemporary world leaders.
Dunford returned to Afghanistan shortly following the hearing to finish out his term at ISAF.
Also confirmed Wednesday night were Army Gen. John Campbell, who will replace Dunford as ISAF commander, and Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Votel, who will succeed Navy Adm. William McRaven as head of U.S. Special Operations Command.
Dunford will become commandant later this fall after Amos retires.