Vice. Adm. William McRaven has been selected to replace Adm. Eric Olson as the head of U.S. Special Operations Command. (Defense Department)
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Defense Secretary Robert Gates has picked Vice Adm. Bill McRaven, the commander of the nation's most secretive and elite special operations unit, to take over U.S. Special Operations Command, according to the command's spokesman.
"Secretary Gates has recommended to the president that Vice Adm. McRaven replace Adm. [Eric] Olson as commander of USSOCOM," said Army Col. Tim Nye, the USSOCOM public affairs officer. McRaven is also slated to receive a fourth star, Nye added.
McRaven has commanded Joint Special Operations Command since June 2008. Based at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., JSOC is responsible for the military's most secret, sensitive missions. Its component units include the Army's 1st Spcial Forces Operational Detachment — Delta (usually known as Delta Force), 75th Ranger Regiment and 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, as well as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group — the Navy's most elite SEAL force — and the Air Force's 24th Special Tactics Squadron.