Pace nominated to be first Marine to chair Joint Chiefs

President Bush has nominated Marine Gen. Peter Pace for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"He knows the job well," Bush said in announcing Pace, 59, for the job during a White House ceremony.

If confirmed by the Senate, Pace would replace Air Force Gen. Richard Myers and become the first Marine to ever hold the top post. Pace currently serves as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Myers will retire on Sept. 30.

The chairman of JCS serves two, two-year terms and is charged with advising the president and Defense secretary.

At a recent Joint Forces Command Symposium in Portsmouth, Va., Myers emphasized the need to build military networks joint from the start and noted that joint systems save lives.

"We could have saved lives if we had better command and control," Myers said, referring to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Our acquisition systems were not up to the task."

Pace would inherit the command and control transformational push of the joint chief's office, largely influenced by Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, which includes a push for better interoperability between military networks.

Pace, who was born in New York City and raised in Teaneck, N.J., formerly served as commander of the U.S. Southern Command. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and received his master's in business administration from George Washington University.

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