Joint Chiefs Chairman to Speak at VMI Graduation
General Martin E. Dempsey
LEXINGTON, Va., March 6, 2014 – General Martin E. Dempsey, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is scheduled to speak at the commencement exercise for Virginia Military Institute’s Class of 2014, to be held Friday, May 16, at 11 a.m. in Cameron Hall on the VMI post. Approximately 315 cadets are expected to receive degrees that day, with about half of the graduates commissioning in the Armed Forces.
As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dempsey is the nation’s highest ranking military officer. In this capacity, he serves as the principal military adviser to the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council. Before he became chairman, Dempsey served as the U.S. Army’s 37th chief of staff.
Past assignments have taken General Dempsey and his family across the globe during both peace and war. He is a 1974 graduate of the United States Military Academy and a career armor officer. He holds a master’s degree in English from Duke University, and master’s degrees in military art from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and national security studies from the National War College.
In 1991, Dempsey deployed with the 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Armored Division in support of Operation Desert Storm. Following Desert Storm, he commanded the 4th Battalion, 67th Armor (Bandits) in Germany for two years and he later was posted in Saudi Arabia, where he trained and advised that nation’s National Guard.
General Dempsey later served on the Joint Staff as an assistant deputy director in the Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy and as special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 2003, he returned to the war zone, this time taking command of the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad, Iraq. He later served as the deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command and commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command before assuming the duties of the Army Chief of Staff.