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Dempsey Becomes Joint Chiefs Chairman: Army Gen. Martin Dempsey succeeded Navy Adm. Mike Mullen as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "Marty's strategic vision is the right one for this time of transition as we craft the joint force that can defeat the wide range of security threats that we face in the world today and in the future," stated Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Sept. 30 change-of-responsibility ceremony at JB Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. Dempsey comes to the nation's top uniformed military post after a short stint as Army Chief of Staff. Mullen is retiring after a 43-year Navy career, including four years as JCS Chairman. "Mike, as you look back on your four consequential years as Chairman and your four decades in uniform, be assured our military is stronger and our nation is more secure because of the service that you have rendered," said President Obama at the ceremony. "The men and women of your armed forces are the best we've ever known," said Mullen to the American public in his parting comments. "They believe in what they are doing. And all I ask is that you continue to believe in them." (Panetta's remarks) (Obama's remarks) (Mullen remarks) (Dempsey's letter to the joint force)