(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump will tap Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley to be the next head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing Marine General Joseph Dunford, according to a White House official familiar with the decision.

Milley, a four-star general, would become the country’s top military officer and senior military adviser if confirmed by the Senate. In that role, he’d be responsible for helping provide guidance to Trump on U.S. deployments to places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, which has become the longest war in American history.

The Massachusetts native and Princeton University graduate has served in battlefields from Afghanistan to Iraq, as well as in Panama, Haiti, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Somalia.

Milley, 60, would replace Dunford, who was first picked by President Barack Obama in 2015 and reappointed by Trump two years later. Dunford’s term is due to expire in 2019.

“It’s an unusual pick -- Milley has extensive operational experience and excellent intellectual credentials, but not much joint time,” said Mark Cancian, a senior adviser for the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “It’s certainly good news for the Army, which has struggled to make a place for itself in the new defense strategy.”

The New York Times reported the appointment earlier.

--With assistance from Tony Capaccio.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at jjacobs68@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net, ;Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Mike Dorning

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