The new U.S. military chief: a plain spoken man
Army General Martin Dempsey Photo from:AFP/Getty Images
October 4th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

The new U.S. military chief: a plain spoken man

By CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr

On his first full morning as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey has all the usual top-secret meetings, discussing the latest threats and intelligence from around the world.

And then, he wades right into what some might consider shark-infested waters: an informal get-together with about 40 Pentagon reporters in the chairman's well-appointed dining room. The ground rules: It's all off the record. But the outgoing Dempsey started answering questions and then agreed to allow some things to be reported after he led the entire group across the hall into his private office.

Gone is the thousands of dollars worth of modernistic blond wood furniture ordered by his predecessor, Adm. Michael Mullen. This is the office of an Army general. There is an almost life-size portrait of Gen. George Marshall, a man Dempsey says is a role model. The desk was Douglas MacArthur's, the general Dempsey said he doesn't want to be, in a lighthearted reference to MacArthur's firing by President Harry Truman.

But then there is an item that is uniquely Dempsey: a small wooden box on a table that Dempsey occasionally hand carries. He opens it and shows a number of small cards. On those cards: a photo and a few words about every service member killed during Dempsey's tours in Iraq. He also carries some of the cards in his wallet, saying it's his way of making sure the fallen are part of him, every day.

Dempsey, who briefly served as Army chief of staff before being nominated to the chairman's job, makes clear he plans to make the job his own. Like every four-star, he is entitled to wear several rows of ribbons; but day to day, he has chosen to wear only a few - reflecting his major tours of duty.

Dempsey, a cancer survivor, is known for his love of singing in public. But make no mistake: This plain-speaking general has a serious vision for his term of office. He revealed that in August, he traveled to his alma mater - the U.S. Military Academy at West Point - to sit down with economics professors. In the face of looming defense spending cuts, he wanted to learn the latest academic expert thinking about how to best solve the nation's economic woes. Dempsey said the discussions were good, but not surprisingly, everyone he spoke with had a different opinion about what to do.

A U.S. military official says look for one crucial international change from the Mullen era. Mullen became almost the sole face of U.S.-Pakistani military relations after meeting more than two dozen times with Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, the Pakistani military chief. But as U.S.-Pakistani relations soured after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, there was a sense, the official said, that the U.S. needed multiple military officials to deal with Pakistan. So now, Dempsey is expected to be one of perhaps several senior American officers in talks with Pakistan.

      The feeling is that when there is a difficult, complicated relationship, there's more flexibility if more people are involved. When there's only one person to primarily rely on, it's more difficult to overcome obstacles.

 

Post by:
Filed under: Iraq • Military • Pakistan • Pentagon
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Cypr Podatki

    I found your blog web site on yahoo and examine just a few of your early contents. Proceed to keep up the very good operate. I simply additional up your RSS feed to us RSS Bar News Reader. Searching for forward to reading super from you later on!?I am usually to blogging and i really respect your posts.

    http://www.taxes.xmc.pl

    April 10, 2021 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  2. Szkło

    I used to have a website that I used to cover this, but it got spammed to death. You seem to be better at keeping out the spammers than I did! Well done! http://www.xmc.pl

    http://www.glass.xmc.pl

    March 14, 2021 at 10:17 am | Reply
  3. Cukrzyca Blog

    Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since Im more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out! I love what you guys are always up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the great works guys Ive added you guys to my blogroll. This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information.. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post.

    http://www.cukrzyca.xmc.pl

    February 28, 2021 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  4. Kompetencje Kongresu USA

    Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective and powerful ways to earn money online. This type of program gives everyone the opportunity to make a profit through the Internet. Since these affiliate marketing programs are easy to join, implement and pay for the Commission on a regular basis, more people are now willing to be part of this type business.

    http://www.usa.xmc.pl

    February 22, 2021 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  5. Filozofia Logika

    What does it mean to increase friction? I would be really useful if anyone can react to that concern. I’m caught with this difficulty for previous 7 days and I’m not able to uncover properties answer for that issue. Any response will be very appreciated. Thank you extremely considerably and have a great day. Apologies for my weak english language. Cheers !

    http://www.filozofia.xmc.pl

    February 19, 2021 at 6:56 am | Reply
  6. Norwegia

    Zycie nie jest problemem do rozwiazania, tylko rzeczywistoscia do doswiadczenia" – Soren Kierkegaard Zapraszam takze do siebie USA Przewodnik

    http://www.norwegia.xmc.pl

    February 15, 2021 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  7. Socjologia

    It isn't often that you come across a article like this one. We'll be sure to check back in to see what's changed. Thank you for taking the initiative to write that article.

    http://www.socjologia.xmc.pl

    February 10, 2021 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  8. Metale

    Dramatem zycia jest to, ze starzejemy sie zbyt szybko, a madrzejemy zbyt pozno. – Benjamin Franklin

    http://www.metale.xmc.pl

    February 8, 2021 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  9. Pianino

    My sister bookmarked this internet site for me and I have been going through it for the past several hrs. This is really going to help me and my classmates for our class project. By the way, I like the way you write.

    http://www.pianino.xmc.pl

    February 7, 2021 at 3:59 am | Reply
  10. Naprawa Pianin

    Interesting thoughts, I found something similar at Discount and Outlet and here Recommended, laters!

    http://www.pianino.xmc.pl

    February 5, 2021 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  11. mersin escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...

    http://www.elitescorthatun.com/ad-category/mersin-escort/

    February 5, 2021 at 11:43 am | Reply
  12. malatya escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...

    http://www.cuba.tc/escort-kategori/malatya-escort-bayan

    February 4, 2021 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  13. WEb Development

    Cool post very informative I just found your blog and read through a few posts although this is my first comment, ill be including it in my favorites and visit again for sure

    http://www.webmaster.m106.com

    January 5, 2021 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  14. Donwload Script Directories

    Wow, this was very fun to read. Have you ever considered submitting articles to magazines?

    http://www.webmaster.m106.com

    January 1, 2021 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  15. Webmaster Center

    I am normally hunting for notice. This article gets me thinking. put you in my favorites

    http://www.xmc.pl

    December 31, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  16. XMCPL

    What I wouldnt give to have a debate with you about this. You just say so many things that come from nowhere that Im pretty certain Id have a fair shot. Your weblog is fantastic visually, I mean people wont be bored. But others who can see past the videos and the layout wont be so impressed with your generic understanding of this subject.

    http://www.xmc.pl

    November 23, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.