Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville is officially the Army’s next top officer.
McConville, whose nomination the Senate confirmed Thursday night, has spent much of his time as the service’s no. 2, working to stand up Army Futures Command, overhauling how the service modernizes its equipment.
“He has played an instrumental role in almost every major decision the Army has made since becoming the vice chief of staff and is the perfect leader to carry on our mission of preparing the Army for the future,” Army Secretary Mark Esper said in a Friday Army release.
A career aviator, McConville has commanded the 101st Airborne Division, and previously served as the Army’s deputy chief of staff for personnel.
“Winning requires unit cohesion, a cohesion built on a foundation of trained, disciplined, and fit soldiers who treat each other with dignity and respect,” McConville said at his confirmation hearing May 2.
That hearing was marked by gratitude for his family’s service ― his wife is an Army veteran, and his three children are all junior officers ― as well as questions about the myriad weapons systems the Army is hoping to upgrade through its list of modernization priorities.
“Future chiefs will no longer have to say that they are outgunned or outranged as we go into the future,” he said.
There was also tension, as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand shared results of the Defense Department’s 2018 Sexual Assault Prevention and Response report, which showed increases in reports of assault, harassment and toxic command climates, with no measurable progress in prosecutions and convictions in the years since such a review has been done.
"I am tired of the statement I get over and over from the chain of command: ‘We got this, Ma’am. We got this,’ " Gillibrand said. “You don’t have it. You’re failing us. The trajectories of every measurable are going in the wrong direction.”
McConville will replace current Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, who is scheduled to take over as chairman of the joint chiefs in the fall. The Senate also confirmed Gen. Joseph Martin, currently the director of Army staff, as McConville’s replacement on Thursday.
The service is also expecting a new sergeant major of the Army this year, though no official decisions have been announced.
In addition to McConville and Martin’s nomination, the Senate also confirmed Adm. Bill Moran to be chief of naval operations, and Vice Adm. Robert Burke to be vice chief of naval operations.
Military Times Deputy Editor Leo Shane III contributed to this report.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members. Follow on Twitter @Meghann_MT