A Defense Department spokesman on Monday said that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford will serve the remainder of his term despite President Trump announcing his successor 10 months ahead of his end date.
“At this point, all indications are that General Dunford will serve his full term,” Army Col. Rob Manning told reporters at the Pentagon.
Manning added that there is “no concern” that Trump’s announcement would make Dunford a “lame duck” chairman.
“I am thankful to both of these incredible men for their service to our Country! Date of transition to be determined,” Trump added in a second tweet.
Former President Obama nominated Dunford and current Vice Chairman Gen. Paul Selva in 2015, and Trump last year renewed them for second terms.
Dunford, whose term officially ends at the end of September 2019, serves as Trump's top military adviser.
Critics say they worry that in announcing Dunford’s replacement so far ahead, Trump has diminished the four-star general’s role in providing input on U.S. strategy in the Middle East, and on Russian and Chinese aggression.
News of Milley's appointment comes amid a broader shake-up of Trump's Cabinet and senior staff.
Trump last week announced that he would appoint William Barr as his next attorney general and State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.