The Senate confirmed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Wednesday, after a brief dispute between Pentagon leaders and the chamber's leading critic of military sexual assault policy.
The spat between Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and military officials had nothing to do with Dunford's credentials but rather centered on data of sexual assaults at large military bases, information Gillibrand has been seeking for years.
She stalled the confirmation process for about two days until Defense Secretary Ash Carter offered her assurances Wednesday morning that the information would be made available soon.
Dunford, who has served as commandant of the Marine Corps for the past year, was confirmed for his new post without opposition just a few hours later.
He received near-universal praise from senators after he was tapped for the position, and most of the criticism at his confirmation hearing focused not on him but the White House's national security strategy.
Dunford served as commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan from February 2013 to August 2014, and previously commanded the 5th Marine Regiment during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His career ascent has been rapid; he rose from a one-star general to four stars in about three years. He'll take over the top military spot in September, when Army Gen. Martin Dempsey is due to retire.
The Senate vote comes amid a spate of confirmations in the waning days of the summer session.
Earlier this week, Air Force Gen. Paul Selva was confirmed as the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Air Force Gen. Darren McDew was confirmed to replace him as the new head of U.S. Transportation Command.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.