Martin E. Dempsey
Dempsey in February 2012
March 14, 1952 |
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1974–present|
|Commands held||Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Army Chief of Staff
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
United States Central Command
Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
1st Armored Division
|Battles/wars||Persian Gulf War
|Awards|| Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (3)
Bronze Star (2) with Valor
Martin E. "Marty" Dempsey (born March 14, 1952) is a United States Army general and the 18th and current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He previously served as the 37th Chief of Staff of the Army from April 11, 2011, to September 7, 2011. Prior to that, he served as Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, from December 8, 2008, to April 11, 2011, as Acting Commander, U.S. Central Command, from March 24, 2008, to October 30, 2008, as Deputy Commander, U.S. Central Command, from August 2007 to March 23, 2008, and as Commanding General, Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq (MNSTC-I), from August 2005 to August 2007. As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Dempsey is currently the highest-ranking military officer in all of the United States Armed Forces. Dempsey assumed his current assignment on October 1, 2011.
Early life and education
Dempsey was born on March 14, 1952, in Jersey City, New Jersey and attended John S. Burke Catholic High School in Goshen, New York, and considers himself to be an Irish American. Following high school, Dempsey attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated with the Class of 1974. In his class were three other future four-star generals, David Petraeus, Walter L. Sharp and Keith B. Alexander. He has a Master's degree in literature from Duke University, where he wrote a thesis on the Irish literary revival. Dempsey's four grandparents were born in the counties of Sligo, Donegal, Mayo and Roscommon in Ireland. He learned a small amount of Gaeilge while spending his summers in Ireland as a child.
Dempsey received a commission as an Armor officer upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1974. As a company-grade officer, he served in 1st Squadron, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment as the S-1 OIC. He went on to be the Executive Officer of the 3rd Brigade 3rd Armored Division during Operation Desert Shield/Storm. As Lieutenant Colonel he commanded the 4th Battalion of the 67th Armored Regiment "Bandits" from 1992–1995 in the 1st Armored Division in Friedberg, Hesse, Germany. As Colonel he commanded the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment from 1996-1998 in Fort Carson, Colorado.
According to the Department of Defense, Martin Dempsey served as an assistant deputy director in J-5 and as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff between 1998 and 2001, when, following his promotion to Brigadier General in August 2001, he served in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, training and advising the Saudi Arabian National Guard.
In June 2003, then Brigadier General Dempsey assumed command of 1st Armored Division. He succeeded Ricardo S. Sanchez who was promoted to Lieutenant General, as Corps Commander V Corps. Dempsey's command of the 1st Armored Division lasted until July 2005 and included 13 months in Iraq, from June 2003 to July 2004. While in Iraq, 1st Armored Division, in addition to its own brigades, had operational command over the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment and a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division; the command, called "Task Force Iron" in recognition of the Division's nickname, "Old Ironsides", was the largest division-level command in the history of the United States Army.
It was during this time that the U.S. intervention in Iraq changed dramatically as Fallujah fell to Sunni extremists and supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr built their strength and rose up against American forces. Then Major General Dempsey and his command assumed responsibility for the Area of Operations in Baghdad as the insurgency incubated, grew, and exploded. General Dempsey has been described by Thomas Ricks in his book "Fiasco": "In the capital itself, the 1st Armored Division, after Sanchez assumed control of V Corps, was led by Maj. Gen. Martin Dempsey, was generally seen as handling a difficult (and inherited) job well, under the global spotlight of Baghdad."
On March 27, 2007, Lieutenant General Dempsey was transferred from commander of Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, and reassigned as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.
On February 5, 2008, Dempsey was nominated to head the U.S. Army, Europe/Seventh Army, and was nominated for promotion to four-star general upon Senate approval.
On March 11, 2008, Dempsey's commander, Admiral William J. Fallon, retired from active service. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates accepted this as effective on March 31. Dempsey took over command as acting commander CENTCOM.
On March 13, 2008, Dempsey was confirmed by the United States Senate as Commander, U.S. Army, Europe/Seventh Army. However due, to Admiral Fallon's unexpected retirement, Dempsey never took command of U.S. Army, Europe/Seventh Army.
On July 11, 2008, Dempsey was nominated to take command of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command while Lieutenant General Carter F. Ham replaced his nomination to command the U.S. Army, Europe/Seventh Army.
On January 6, 2011, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that he would recommend that the President nominate General Dempsey to succeed General George Casey as the US Army Chief of Staff. On February 8, 2011, Gates announced that President Barack Obama nominated Dempsey to be the 37th Chief of Staff of the United States Army. On March 3, 2011, Dempsey testified before the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services, and on March 15, 2011, the committee affirmatively reported Dempsey's nomination. On March 16, 2011, the Senate confirmed Dempsey's nomination by unanimous consent. On April 11, 2011, Dempsey was sworn in as Chief of Staff of the United States Army at a ceremony at Fort Myer.
With Admiral Michael Mullen set to retire as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September 2011, U.S. President Obama needed to select his replacement. The Vice-Chairman, Marine General James Cartwright, who was initially believed to be the front runner for the job, had fallen out of favor among senior officials in the Defense Department. Obama administration officials revealed on May 26, 2011, that the President would nominate Dempsey to the post of Chairman. In August 2011, General Dempsey was confirmed by unanimous consent to succeed Admiral Mike Mullen as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was sworn in as 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 2011.
In a memorandum sent on 24 April 2012, Dempsey called for the review of the military education and training curriculum, and ordered military schools to make sure they were not including anti-Islamic themes in training courses. A letter circulated on 9 January 2013 from Dempsey to Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta stated that the armed service chiefs all agreed that “the time has come to rescind the direct combat exclusion rule for women and to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service.”
On 26 June 2013, President Barack Obama re-nominated General Dempsey to serve a second two-year term as Chairman.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff selected retired USMC General John R. Allen to lead the battle against ISIS in September 2014, and Dempsey suggested in an interview that “Mosul will likely be the decisive battle in the ground campaign at some point in the future.” Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno was 'somewhat confident' that Baghdad could be defended on 13 October 2014. Hundreds of troops and US aircraft were then based at Baghdad International Airport, according to Dempsey.
General Dempsey is currently the only remaining active duty officer from his US Military Academy graduating class of 1974.
Dempsey is married to his high school sweetheart, Deanie. They have three children: Chris, Megan, and Caitlin. Each has served in the United States Army. Chris remains on active duty. Martin and Deanie have eight grandchildren.
- 1974 Bachelor of Science degree, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York
- 1984 Master of Arts degree in English, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
- 1988 Master of Military Art and Science degree, United States Army Command and General Staff College
- 1995 Master of Science degree in national security and strategic studies, National War College
Dates of rank
|Second lieutenant||June 5, 1974|
|First lieutenant||June 5, 1976|
|Captain||August 8, 1978|
|Major||September 1, 1985|
|Lieutenant colonel||April 1, 1991|
|Colonel||September 1, 1996|
|Brigadier general||August 1, 2001|
|Major general||September 1, 2004|
|Lieutenant general||September 8, 2005|
|General||December 8, 2008|
Awards and decorations
Medals and ribbons
- Win, Learn, Focus, Adapt, Win Again – Article series for Army Magazine (AUSA). Oct. 2010 – Feb. 2011
- Inspired and humbled by the sacrifice of our troops - The Hill, May 24, 2011
- From the Chairman – Joint Force Quarterly no. 64. Jan. 2012
- From the Chairman – Joint Force Quarterly no. 65. Apr. 2012
- Preserving the bonds of trust - The Hill, May 22, 2012
- From the Chairman – Joint Force Quarterly no. 66. Jul. 2012
- From the Chairman: Building Tomorrow's Leaders - Joint Force Quarterly no. 67. Oct. 2012
- From the Chairman: Sustaining our Edge - Joint Force Quarterly no. 68. Jan. 2013
- From the Chairman: Risky Business - Joint Force Quarterly no. 69. Apr. 2013
- Remember and uphold tradition - The Hill, May 21, 2013
- From the Chairman: Why We Serve - Joint Force Quarterly no. 70. July 2013
- From the Chairman: Leadership in Historic Times - Joint Force Quarterly no. 71. Oct. 2013
- From the Chairman: Mount Up and Move Out - Joint Force Quarterly no. 72. Jan. 2014
- Dempsey Muses on Challenges as New Head of Joint Chiefs – Thom Shanker. New York Times. Oct 3, 2011.
- The New Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on "Getting to the Truth" – Karl Moore. Forbes Magazine. Oct 20, 2011.
- Gen. Martin Dempsey's Interview with Jeremy Paxman on YouTube – Jeremy Paxman, BBC. Nov 28, 2011.
- Transcript: Gen. Martin Dempsey's Interview with Fareed Zakaria – Fareed Zakaria. CNN. Feb 19, 2012.
- Video: Gen. Martin Dempsey's Interview with Charlie Rose – Charlie Rose. Mar 16, 2012.
- Video: Gen. Martin Dempsey's Interview on Leadership on YouTube - The Pentagon Channel. Oct. 2012.
- Video: Gen. Martin Dempsey at the National Press Club on YouTube - National Press Club. Oct. 10, 2012.
- Transcript: Gen. Martin Dempsey talks to Dan Rather - Dan Rather Reports. AXS.tv. Nov. 13, 2012.
- Transcript: Gen. Martin Dempsey talks to Ted Koppel - Rock Center with Brian Williams. NBC. Jan. 24, 2013.
- Transcript: Sec. Panetta & Gen. Dempsey’s Interview with Candy Crowley - State of the Union. CNN. Feb. 3, 2013.
- Transcript: Sec. Panetta & Gen. Dempsey’s Interview with Chuck Todd - Meet the Press. NBC. Feb. 3, 2013.
- Transcript: Gen. Martin Dempsey talks to Rachel Martin - Weekend Edition. NPR. Feb. 17, 2013.
- Transcript: Gen. Martin Dempsey talks to Candy Crowley - State of the Union. CNN. July 7, 2013.
- Transcript: Gen. Martin Dempsey talks to Martha Raddatz - This Week. ABC. Aug. 4, 2013.
- Gen. Dempsey Becomes the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Sep 30, 2011
- The Atlantic Council of the United States: Security and Partnership in an Age of Austerity – Dec 9, 2011.
- End of Mission Ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq – Dec 15, 2011.
- Duke University's Ambassador S. Davis Phillips Family International Lecture Series: A New Vision for the US Military – Jan 12, 2012.
- West Point Class of 2013 500th Night – Jan 21, 2012.
- Harvard University's John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum: Security Paradox – Apr 12, 2012.
- The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: A Conversation with General Martin Dempsey – May 1, 2012.
- Kansas State University's 161st Landon Lecture - Oct. 1, 2012
- By law, 10 USC 152, Dempsey assumed office on October 1.
- "Ireland of Welcomes Talks to General Dempsey". Ireland of the Welcomes. July–August 2010.
- "Donegal Man Is Appointed Chief Of The American Army". Donegal Daily. March 26, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2012. (subscription required (. ))
- Baron, Kevin, "Gen. Martin Dempsey: The Quiet American", National Journal, February 11, 2012.
- "Iron Soldiers: Mission complete". 1st Armored Division Public Affairs. 1st Armored Division Public Affairs. Retrieved July 2004.
- "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Nominations Confirmed (Non-Civilian)". Senate.gov. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
- "General Officer Announcements". Defense.gov. July 11, 2008. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Tice, Jim (December 8, 2008). "Dempsey takes command of TRADOC". Army Times. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
- Four-Star General Martin E. Dempsey to Visit Israel
- US CJCS Gen. Martin Dempsey Visits Yad VaShem
- Bacon, Lance (January 6, 2011). "TRADOC head is pick to become chief of staff". Army Times. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
- "General Officer Announcements". Department of Defense. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- "Hearing Schedule". U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- Brannen, Kate (March 15, 2011). "Sen. committee confirms Dempsey as Army chief". Army Times. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
- Senate Congressional Record for March 16, 2011
- Starr, Barbara (May 26, 2011). "Obama to choose Army head as next Joint Chiefs chairman, officials say". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
- nytimes.com: "Martin Dempsey’s Letter Calling for Review of Military Education and Training Curriculum" 25 Apr 2012
- nytimes.com: "Letter from Gen. Martin E. Dempsey", 23 Jan 2013
- White House Press Secretary (June 26, 2013). "Statement by the President on Intention to Renominate General Marty Dempsey as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Admiral Sandy Winnefeld as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff".
- nytimes.com: "Obama’s Top Military Adviser Warns of Possible ISIS Attacks in Baghdad" 12 Oct 2014
- thehill.com: "Army chief 'somewhat' confident Iraq can defend Baghdad" 13 Oct 2014
- Official Biography of 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey
- "General Martin E. Dempsey Chairman". US DOD Joint Chiefs of Staff. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- Miles, Donna. "Dempsey Accepts USO Award on Behalf of Military Members". http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66388. Armed Forces Press Service. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Martin Dempsey|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Martin E. Dempsey.|
- Military Biography
- Chairman's Corner
- General Martin E. Dempsey on Facebook
- Gen. Martin Dempsey collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Martin Dempsey at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Martin Dempsey in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
|Commander of United States Central Command
|Commanding General of the Army Training and Doctrine Command
|Chief of Staff of the Army
|Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff