On Monday President Obama nominated Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the reports. Obama also promoted two other senior military leaders, effectively overhauling leadership at the Pentagon, which has been led thus far by George W. Bush appointees.chief, as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the country’s highest-ranking military officer, the New York Times
While Obama praised Dempsey during the nomination, Dempsey was not believed to be the president's first choice, according to the Washington Post. For more than a year, Obama had favored Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, one of his most trusted military advisers, whose current term ends in August. But on May 21, Obama informed Cartwright that he wouldn’t get the job, and picked Dempsey, who had only recently assumed the position of Army chief.
The Influence of Robert Gates. While the Times indicates that "questions of personnel management and command style pushed [Cartwright] out of the running," the Post writes that it was "because of opposition from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and outgoing chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, who butted heads with Cartwright over strategy for the war in Afghanistan." Gates and Mullen are both Bush administration holdovers.