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Obama renominates general Dempsey as military chief

General Martin Dempsey (R) listens as US President Barack Obama makes an announcement on May 30, 2011 in Washington, DC
General Martin Dempsey (R) listens while US President Barack Obama makes an announcement at the Rose Garden of the White House on May 30, 2011 in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama said Wednesday he planned to re-nominate Dempsey as Chairman of the Jo

President Barack Obama said Wednesday he planned to re-nominate general Martin Dempsey as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking US military officer.

Vice-chairman admiral Sandy Winnefeld would also be renominated for another two-year term, Obama said in a statement, hailing the military chiefs as "superb officers who have led our military ... with great distinction."

"I am confident in saying that our nation is safer and more secure today because of their visionary, dedicated, and tireless leadership," Obama said, urging the US Senate to confirm the duo as "swiftly as possible."

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel also welcomed the nomination. "I enthusiastically endorse that nomination," he said in a press conference.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is the top military advisor to Obama as well as to the Secretary of Defense.

Dempsey, 61, a graduate of West Point, was appointed in October 2011 after serving as the US Army chief.

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