If confirmed by the Senate, Milley would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
President Donald Trump says he's tapping Gen Mark Milley as his next top military adviser.
Trump's decision, announced before leaving Washington for the annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, had caught some in the Pentagon by surprise when unofficial word spread Friday after he had tweeted that a succession announcement was coming. Spokesmen for Dunford and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declined to comment Friday about the expected announcement. A change was made in 2016 because Congress wanted continuity before and after a presidential election.
"I have another one for tomorrow that I'm going to be announcing at the Army-Navy game", Trump said. He said Dunford congratulated Milley on his nomination.
Dunford is expected to serve out his term. He earned a Bachelor's degree at Princeton University, where he played ice hockey and participated in ROTC.
Milley has built up a reputation as a forward-looking leader.
Milley also served as deputy commanding general of USA forces in Afghanistan.
"On the future battlefield, if you stay in one place longer than two or three hours, you will be dead", Milley said in 2016. For example, he has pushed the Army to create Futures Command in tech hub Austin, Texas, and has sought to prepare the Army to fight "multi-domain" battles.
He helped launch the Army's Security Force Assistance Brigades to help reduce the strain on Special Forces units while also ensuring that the army maintained the ability to advise friendly forces combating extremist groups.
Milley would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A former commander of Fort Drum's 10th Mountain Division is reportedly being tapped as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.