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Who’s who in Defense: note Milley, Chairman, joint Chiefs of employee

Part that a unique Breaking Defense reference series profiling vital defense decision-makers in the new administration and also Congress.


The 20th Chairman of the share Chiefs of employee (JCS)

Gen. Note A. Milley


The highest-ranking armed forces officer in America, Milley acts as the principal military advisor come the President, Secretary that Defense, and also National security Council. Together chairman that the JCS, i m sorry comprises the top eight army officials in the country, Milley is the conduit in between the executive, management branch and also the military chiefs. He exercises no armed forces authority end combatant forces.

Key focus Areas

Improve share warfighting readiness, construct the Joint force of the future and empower Joint force leaders.Re-examine how troops are stationed in allied nations at risk of armed conflict, favor South Korea and also in the Persian Gulf. Envisions rotating troops quite than keeping permanent assignments overseas, not including Afghanistan and also Iraq, call the current, decades-old strategy a “derivative” the WWII era policies.Keep pace v the rapidly an altering geopolitical setting and also with emerging technologies, threats from cyberattacks, disinformation, pandemics, a marked rise in an international urbanization, and China’s financial dominance.


“The U.S. Military is really powerful, in every domains. However what’s crucial to know and recognize is that the gap in between us and potential adversaries, say China and also Russia, because that example, has closed end the last, 10,15, 20 years. The unified States has been heavily engaged in counter-insurgency war in the middle East. The we’re all really familiar with. At the exact same time, the Chinese took stock in our operations an international and they determined they would certainly modernize. This goes earlier to (Chinese vice Premier) Deng Xiaoping in 1979. He reforms China and also modernizes their economy, so the for 41 years now the Chinese economic situation has yes, really gone on a roll, cultivation extraordinarily powerful. And in that wake has actually come a modernized reform—a very, an extremely capable Chinese military. So whereby the Soviet military was the pacing threat earlier in the ‘70s and also ‘80s once I to be commissioned, I would argue the Chinese military and the challenge from a climbing China—that is the pacing risk of today.” – Interview v Brookings Institute, December 2021.

Military Career

Prior to ending up being chairman that the JCS, Milley was Chief of employee of the military (2015), and was additionally Commander of army Forces Command at fort Bragg, NC. During his 39 years in the military, the four-star army officer has seen many combat tours and held a selection of staff and command positions consisting of Commanding general of the global Security Assistance pressure Joint Command because that Afghanistan and Deputy Commanding general of U.S. Forces Afghanistan. Established the military Futures Command in Austin, TX (2018), aimed at identifying brand-new warfighting concepts and developing commercial technologies beyond the timeless military acquisition and also research processes.Persuaded previous President Donald Trump not to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act during the 2020 protests, which would have enabled for the deployment the active-duty troops come quell protestors. Foundational is his belief of “preserving the Constitution” and also freedom of speech.

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Princeton university – (1980) B.A. In political science. Columbia college – international relations.U.S. Naval war College – M.A. In nationwide security and strategic studies. Graduate that the MIT Seminar XXI nationwide Security research studies Program. 


Mark Alexander Milley to be born June 18, 1958, in Winchester, MA, just exterior Boston—the child of two military-oriented parents. 2 siblings. His mother, mar Elizabeth (nee Murphy), offered in the marine at a Seattle-based hospital. His father, Alexander Milley, was a former Marine who fought in the battle of Iwo Jima. A proud veteran, the elder Milley nonetheless advised his son versus pursuing a job in the military, prompting his enrollment in ~ Princeton fairly than West Point. However, if there, he adjusted his mind and received his board of directors from army ROTC, embarking top top a lifelong career in armed forces service.Married to Hollyanne Milley, a cardiac nurse, because that 35 years. They have actually two children.