Paul Selva as vice chairman marks the first time in ten years an airman has been nominated to one of the leadership positions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Gen. Richard Myers took over as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a month after the 9/11 attacks where he
helped oversee the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan as President George W. Bush's top military advisor.
retired from the service in 2005.
Selva, an Air Force Academy graduate, is a career C-17 pilot who currently serves as the commander of U.S. Transportation Command.
"Paul also served as Secretary of State Clinton's military advisor for the first years of my presidency, so he grasps the strategic environment in which our forces operate.
understands that our military, as powerful as it is, is one tool that must be used in concert with all the elements of our national power.
The President also highlighted Selva's time as the head of Air Mobility Command, which he
led from 2012 to 2014.
"As leader of Air Mobility Command, he
earned a reputation as a force for change and innovation.
I understand that when it was time to deliver the final C-17 to the Air Force, Paul
went to the cockpit and helped fly it himself," Obama
also has experience in a top command position in the Pacific - an area the Obama
administration and the Pentagon have made a priority as the services direct more resources to the region.
Selva served as the deputy command of Pacific Air Forces from 2011 to 2012.
Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, signaled his
support for Selva's nomination in statement released Tuesday.
McCain will oversee the nomination hearings that Selva
extensive experience as an operational and strategic leader would be a welcome addition to the Joint Chiefs of Staff
," McCain said.