Trump surprises defense world by teasing change to Joint Chiefs of Staff

President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE caught the defense world off guard Friday when he said that he will make an announcement regarding the Joint Chiefs of Staff during this weekend’s Army-Navy football game.

While making a series of major personnel announcements on the White House lawn, including new picks for attorney general and United Nations ambassador, Trump cryptically told reporters that “I have another one for tomorrow.”


“I’m going to be announcing at the Army-Navy game. I can give you a little hint: It will have to do with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and succession,” he said.

Trump is set to attend the coin toss at the annual game between the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.

The comment set off speculation over who could be named to what position, as all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are set reach the end of their terms in quick succession starting next summer.

Administration officials told The New York Times that Trump is expected to name Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley as Joint Chiefs chairman.

Current Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford’s second term will end in the summer of 2019, as will Vice Chairman Gen. Paul Selva’s.

Former President Obama nominated Dunford and Selva to the two-year term positions in 2015, and Trump re-upped them for their second terms last year.  

Milley, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller and Naval Chief of Operations Adm. John Richardson will all reach the end of their terms next year.

—Updated at 1:15 p.m.