This story was updated to include a comment from Gen. George’s spokesperson.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has nominated the U.S. Army’s vice chief of staff to be the service’s next chief, according to the congressional register.
Gen. Randy George, if confirmed by the Senate, would succeed Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, who will retire this summer.
George “is a combat proven leader who is the right person at the right time and will guide the Army into the future,” McConville said in a statement to Defense News today.
“Gen. George is honored to be considered and will wait for the results of the confirmation process before commenting on the nomination publicly,” Army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Loni Ayers, told Defense News in a statement.
The Senate received George’s nomination late last week; it was referred to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The four-star general began his career as an infantry officer, graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1988. He served in Desert Storm as a lieutenant in the 101st Airborne Division.
George deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as deputy commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade based in Italy, and deployed again to Iraq as the commander of the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment.
George deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the commander of the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team.
After stints as an executive officer for both the 33rd Army vice chief and the U.S. Central Command commander, he took command of the 4th Infantry Division in charge of maneuver.
George’s Pentagon experience includes serving as the director of force management for the Army G-3/5/7 and deputy director for regional operations and force management on the Joint Staff.
“While George’s combat experience over the course of his career are assets for leading the Army, it’s the depth of his experience in Force Management — both on the Army Staff and on the Joint Staff — that sets him apart for the job [of chief of staff],” said Kate Kuzminski, director of the Military, Veterans & Society program at the Center For a New American Security.
The expert said such experience “is often overlooked…but effective force management is the integration of every system, process, and mechanism that makes the Army function,” adding that “George’s history of Army institutional management will serve it well.
The head of the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation’s national defense program, Thomas Spoehr, also pointed at George’s force management experience as part of his “great mix of operational and institutional knowledge.”
Spoehr, a retired Army three-star who served alongside George in multiple roles, said the general “has built an excellent reputation and will do well as the 41st CSA.”
Before becoming the Army’s vice chief of staff on August 5, 2022, George was commander of I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state and then served as the senior military assistant to the secretary of defense.
If confirmed, George will take command of a challenged Army. The service has struggled in recent years to meet recruiting goals and, as a result, has dropped its end-strength numbers at a time when Army officials want to see the force grow.
War still rages on in Ukraine as Russian continues its invasion into a second year. The Army continues to send weapons and equipment to the Ukrainians in large numbers and is fighting to rapidly replenish stock.
And the Army is pushing hard to successfully modernize the force, investing billions in over 35 new programs meant to help the service be able to fight near peer adversaries around the globe across all domains. This modernization initiative follows years of struggle to develop and procure new weapon systems and could face headwinds due to projected flat budgets and rising inflation costs in the future.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.
Davis Winkie covers the Army for Military Times. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill, and served five years in the Army Guard. His investigations earned the Society of Professional Journalists' 2023 Sunshine Award and consecutive Military Reporters and Editors honors, among others. Davis was also a 2022 Livingston Awards finalist.