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Martin Dempsey

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Nickname(s)  Marty
Name  Martin Dempsey
Allegiance  United States
Spouse  Deanie Dempsey
Years of service  1974–2015

Martin Dempsey Gen Martin Dempsey meets President Ghani during Kabul
Born  March 14, 1952 (age 63) Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S. (1952-03-14)
Battles/wars  Persian Gulf War Iraq War
Awards  Defense Distinguished Service Medal (3) Army Distinguished Service Medal (6) Navy Distinguished Service Medal Air Force Distinguished Service Medal Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal Defense Superior Service Medal Legion of Merit (3) Bronze Star (2) with Valor V
Education  United States Army Command and General Staff College
Children  Caitlin Dempsey, Chris Dempsey, Megan Dempsey
Commands held  United States Army Training and Doctrine Command
Similar People  Joseph Dunford, David Petraeus, Tommy Franks, John Abizaid, William J Fallon

Service/branch  United States Army
Battles and wars  Gulf War, Iraq War

General martin dempsey sings parting glass at his retirement ceremony

Martin Edward Dempsey (born March 14, 1952), sometimes known as Marty Dempsey, is a retired United States Army general who served as the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 1, 2011 until September 25, 2015. He previously served as the 37th Chief of Staff of the Army from April 11, 2011, to September 7, 2011. Prior to that, he served as Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, from December 8, 2008, to April 11, 2011, as Acting Commander, U.S. Central Command, from March 24, 2008, to October 30, 2008, as Deputy Commander, U.S. Central Command, from August 2007 to March 23, 2008, and as Commanding General, Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq (MNSTC-I), from August 2005 to August 2007. Dempsey assumed his assignment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 2011 and stepped down from the Chairmanship on September 25, 2015. He now serves as a professor at Duke University.


Martin Dempsey Martin Dempsey to lead Joint Chiefs POLITICO

General martin dempsey interview

Early life and education

Martin Dempsey mediawashtimescoms3amazonawscommediaimage2

Dempsey was born on March 14, 1952, and attended John S. Burke Catholic High School in Goshen, New York. Dempsey is Irish American. Following high school, Dempsey attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated with the Class of 1974. In his class were three other future four-star generals, David Petraeus, Walter L. Sharp and Keith B. Alexander. He has a master's degree in literature from Duke University, where he wrote a thesis on the Irish literary revival. Dempsey's four grandparents were born in the counties of Sligo, Donegal, Mayo and Roscommon in Ireland. He learned a small amount of the Irish language while spending his summers in Ireland as a child.


Martin Dempsey Martin Dempsey Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Dempsey received a commission as an Armor officer upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1974. As a company-grade officer, he served in 1st Squadron, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment as the S-1 OIC. He went on to be the Executive Officer of the 3rd Brigade 3rd Armored Division during Operation Desert Shield/Storm. As Lieutenant Colonel he commanded the 4th Battalion of the 67th Armored Regiment "Bandits" from 1992–1995 in the 1st Armored Division in Friedberg, Hesse, Germany.

Martin Dempsey Dempsey Hazing bullying 39intolerable39 in military

In June 2003, then Major General Dempsey assumed command of 1st Armored Division. He succeeded Ricardo S. Sanchez who was promoted to Lieutenant General, as Corps Commander V Corps. Dempsey's command of the 1st Armored Division lasted until July 2005 and included 13 months in Iraq, from June 2003 to July 2004. While in Iraq, 1st Armored Division, in addition to its own brigades, had operational command over the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment and a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division; the command, called "Task Force Iron" in recognition of the Division's nickname, "Old Ironsides", was the largest division-level command in the history of the United States Army.

It was during this time that the U.S. intervention in Iraq changed dramatically as Fallujah fell to Sunni extremists and supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr built their strength and rose up against American forces. Then Major General Dempsey and his command assumed responsibility for the Area of Operations in Baghdad as the insurgency incubated, grew, and exploded. General Dempsey has been described by Thomas Ricks in his book "Fiasco": "In the capital itself, the 1st Armored Division, after Sanchez assumed control of V Corps, was led by Maj. Gen. Martin Dempsey, was generally seen as handling a difficult (and inherited) job well, under the global spotlight of Baghdad."

On March 27, 2007, Lieutenant General Dempsey was transferred from commander of Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, and reassigned as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

On February 5, 2008, Dempsey was nominated to head the U.S. Army, Europe/Seventh Army, and was nominated for promotion to four-star general upon Senate approval.

On March 11, 2008, Dempsey's commander, Admiral William J. Fallon, retired from active service. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates accepted this as effective on March 31. Dempsey took over command as acting commander CENTCOM.

On March 13, 2008, Dempsey was confirmed by the United States Senate as Commander, U.S. Army, Europe/Seventh Army. However, due, to Admiral Fallon's unexpected retirement, Dempsey never took command of U.S. Army, Europe/Seventh Army.

On July 11, 2008, Dempsey was nominated to take command of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command while Lieutenant General Carter F. Ham replaced his nomination to command the U.S. Army, Europe/Seventh Army.

On December 8, 2008, Dempsey assumed command of United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.

On January 6, 2011, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that he would recommend that the President nominate General Dempsey to succeed General George Casey as the Army Chief of Staff. On February 8, 2011, Gates announced that President Barack Obama nominated Dempsey to be the 37th Chief of Staff of the United States Army. On March 3, 2011, Dempsey testified before the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services, and on March 15, 2011, the committee affirmatively reported Dempsey's nomination. On March 16, 2011, the Senate confirmed Dempsey's nomination by unanimous consent. On April 11, 2011, Dempsey was sworn in as Chief of Staff of the United States Army at a ceremony at Fort Myer.

With Admiral Michael Mullen set to retire as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September 2011, U.S. President Obama needed to select his replacement. The Vice-Chairman, Marine General James Cartwright, who was initially believed to be the front runner for the job, had fallen out of favor among senior officials in the Defense Department. Obama administration officials revealed on May 26, 2011, that the President would nominate Dempsey to the post of Chairman. In August 2011, General Dempsey was confirmed by unanimous consent to succeed Admiral Mike Mullen as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was sworn in as 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 2011. On June 26, 2013, President Barack Obama re-nominated General Dempsey to serve a second two-year term as Chairman. Dempsey stepped down on September 25, 2015, and was replaced by General Joseph Dunford, USMC.

Personal life

Dempsey is married to his high school sweetheart, Deanie. They have three children: Chris, Megan, and Caitlin. Each has served in the United States Army and is married with three children. Chris remains on active duty as a cavalry major. Martin and Deanie have nine grandchildren.


  • 1974 Bachelor of Science degree, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York
  • 1984 Master of Arts degree in English, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • 1988 Master of Military Art and Science degree, United States Army Command and General Staff College
  • 1995 Master of Science degree in national security and strategic studies, National War College
  • Awards and decorations

    On December 7, 2011, Dempsey received the USO's Distinguished Service Award on behalf of all military members. In October 2016, he was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, for commitment to British-American defense cooperation.


    1. Dempsey Muses on Challenges as New Head of Joint Chiefs – Thom Shanker. New York Times. Oct 3, 2011.
    2. The New Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on "Getting to the Truth" – Karl Moore. Forbes Magazine. Oct 20, 2011.
    3. Gen. Martin Dempsey's Interview with Jeremy Paxman – Jeremy Paxman, BBC. Nov 28, 2011.
    4. Transcript: Gen. Martin Dempsey's Interview with Fareed Zakaria – Fareed Zakaria. CNN. Feb 19, 2012.
    5. Video: Gen. Martin Dempsey's Interview with Charlie Rose – Charlie Rose. Mar 16, 2012.
    6. Video: Gen. Martin Dempsey's Interview on Leadership - The Pentagon Channel. October 2012.
    7. Video: Gen. Martin Dempsey at the National Press Club - National Press Club. October 10, 2012.
    8. Transcript: Gen. Martin Dempsey talks to Dan Rather - Dan Rather Reports. November 13, 2012.
    9. Transcript: Gen. Martin Dempsey talks to Ted Koppel - Rock Center with Brian Williams. NBC. January 24, 2013.
    10. Transcript: Sec. Panetta & Gen. Dempsey’s Interview with Candy Crowley - State of the Union. CNN. February 3, 2013.
    11. Transcript: Sec. Panetta & Gen. Dempsey’s Interview with Chuck Todd - Meet the Press. NBC. February 3, 2013.
    12. Transcript: Gen. Martin Dempsey talks to Rachel Martin - Weekend Edition. NPR. February 17, 2013.
    13. Transcript: Gen. Martin Dempsey talks to Candy Crowley - State of the Union. CNN. July 7, 2013.
    14. Transcript: Gen. Martin Dempsey talks to Martha Raddatz - This Week. ABC. August 4, 2013.


    1. Gen. Dempsey Becomes the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – September 30, 2011
    2. The Atlantic Council of the United States: Security and Partnership in an Age of Austerity – December 9, 2011.
    3. End of Mission Ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq – December 15, 2011.
    4. Duke University's Ambassador S. Davis Phillips Family International Lecture Series: A New Vision for the US Military – January 12, 2012.
    5. West Point Class of 2013 500th Night – January 21, 2012.
    6. Harvard University's John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum: Security Paradox – April 12, 2012.
    7. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: A Conversation with General Martin Dempsey – May 1, 2012.
    8. Kansas State University's 161st Landon Lecture - October 1, 2012


    Martin Dempsey Wikipedia