Obama likely to tap Dempsey as Joint Chiefs chairman

President Obama will likely announce on Monday that he will appoint Gen. Martin Dempsey, the recently installed Army chief of staff, as the as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, White House sources said Saturday.

The White House said that Obama will make "Department of Defense personnel announcements" but would not confirm what those announcements were.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and White House national security adviser Tom Donilon are scheduled to be at the Monday morning announcement in the Rose Garden.

As first reported by The Hill, Dempsey emerged last week as the front-runner to replace Adm. Michael Mullen, according to Defense sources.

White House officials have been studying a handful of top generals and admirals to replace Mullen, whose second and final term as the U.S. military’s top officer ends this fall. 

If the White House does nominate Dempsey and he is confirmed by the Senate, it would mark the first time in nearly a decade that an Army general has held the coveted chairman’s post.

Dempsey was deputy commander of U.S. Central Command from August 2007 to March 2008, and was Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq commander from August 2005 to August 2007. He became Army chief on April 11.

Dempsey worked closely in Iraq with Gen. David Petraeus, who has been tapped as the next Central Intelligence Agency director.

John T. Bennett contributed to this post.