Gen. Dempsey named one of '100 Most Influential People'

Gen. Dempsey named one of '100 Most Influential People'

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was named as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People on Thursday.

Dempsey, 63, took over as chairman in 2011 and is set to retire later this year from the military, after four years as the nation's top military adviser to the president. The list also included Pope Francis, potential presidential candidate Jeb Bush, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, and reality TV star Kim Kardashian. 

"General Martin Dempsey is truly a Renaissance man: an English major who is as comfortable singing Irish ballads as he is devising counterterrorism strategies or dealing with the mess left by sequestration," said Time's profile, written by former Army vice chief of staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli.


"Dempsey’s time as Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff has been dominated by trips to the Hill to educate those who refuse to learn prior-war lessons," Chiarelli wrote.

Dempsey graduated from West Point in 1974 as an armor officer. He was a commander in Operation Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom; he served as deputy commander and acting commander of U.S. Central Command, and commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command, as well as Army chief of staff. 

He was sworn in as chairman of the Joint Chiefs on Oct. 1, 2011, and in 2013 was renominated to serve a second term.  

Along with three different Defense secretaries during his tenure, Dempsey has navigated the Department through the beginning of defense budget cuts under sequestration, the crafting of a new strategic guidance under the cuts, the drawdown of the Afghanistan War, the U.S. "pivot" to Asia and the beginning of a new war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

He has also helped oversee efforts to integrate women into previously closed combat jobs and tackle military sexual assault. 

"Since graduating from West Point, he has faced traditional fights against the Soviet Union and nontraditional fights against al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and ISIS," Chiarelli wrote. 

"His mastery of the kinetic battlefields of the past and today’s counterterrorism strategies makes him a war-weary President’s most trusted military adviser," he said. 

"His cavalryman’s lineage makes him the first post-Goldwater-Nichols Chairman to embody the true tenets of today’s joint warfare. And his ability to sing 162 Irish ballads from memory would make you wish you’d been coached by his grandmother," he wrote.