Myers gets Joint Chiefs nod

President Bush took the highly anticipated step Aug. 24 of announcing the nomination of Air Force Gen. Richard Myers to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Myers led the U.S. Space Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command from August 1998 to February 2000, and his expertise in space matters is expected to complement Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's focus on space and missile defense.

The current chairman, Army Gen. Henry Shelton, is retiring in September and welcomed the nomination.

"I am very pleased with the president's decision to name Gen. Dick Myers as the next chairman," Shelton said in a written statement. "As the vice chairman, Dick has been a crucial and indispensable part of the national security team for the past two years and is well-prepared to meet the challenges of this high office. Dick brings the heart of a warrior and vision of a leader to this position."

Myers is a 1965 graduate of Kansas State University and holds a master's degree in business administration from Auburn University. He also has attended the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa.; and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

His career includes operational command and leadership positions in a variety of Air Force and joint assignments. Myers is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours, including 600 combat hours.

Myers will be replaced as the vice chief of staff by Gen. Peter Pace, commander in chief of U.S. Southern Command in Florida.

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