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Army Gen. Joseph Votel, left, outgoing commander of US Special Operations Command, passes a guidon to Defense Secretary Ash Carter during a change-of-command ceremony at MacDill AFB, Fla., March 30, 2016. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Angelita M. Lawrence​.

​Army Gen. Joseph Votel is the new leader of US Central Command, assuming leadership from retiring Army Gen. Lloyd Austin during a Wednesday ceremony. Votel, who was nominated in January, brings a special operations background to CENTCOM, having previously served as commander of US Special Operations Command and as a Ranger regiment commander. “Joe has forged difficult consensus and cemented strong partnerships with many of his regional counterparts,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said during the ceremony at MacDill AFB, Fla. “His political-military skill and strength as a warrior diplomat make him the perfect fit to lead CENTCOM, a command where our partners matter so much and our partnerships run so deep.”