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Bush nominates Myers to head Joint Chiefs of Staff
( 2001-08-25 09:29 ) (8 )

U.S. President George W. Bush Friday nominated Air Force General Richard Myers as the next chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"The right man to preserve the best traditions of our armed forces while challenging them to innovate to meet the threats of the future is General Richard Myers," Bush said.

"General Myers is a man of steady resolve and determined leadership," he added.

Bush announced the selection at a press conference in Crawford, Texas. He met beforehand with Myers and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for an update on continuing efforts to overhaul the nation's military.

Bush's pick, if confirmed by the Senate, would replace Army General Henry Shelton, who retires on September 30.

Myers, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, is a fighter pilot by training. He entered the Air Force in 1965 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Kansas State University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. He also holds a master's degree in business administration from Auburn University.

He has been vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs since February 2000. Before that, he spent two years simultaneously heading the Space Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

He also has served as commander of Pacific Air Forces, based at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, and as commander of US forces in Japan.

Myers,59, has had extensive experience on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During Army General John Shalikashvili's tenure as Joint Chiefs chairman, Myers was his principal assistant.

If confirmed by the Senate, Myers would be the first Air Force officer to serve as Joint Chiefs chairman since General David Jones, who held the post from 1978 to 1982. 



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