As part of the ongoing shakeup of President Barack Obama’s national security team, the Defense Department announced the president this week formally nominated Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John R. Allen to serve as the next commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan.
As part of Allen’s promotion, the president also nominated him to receive a fourth star.
The personnel changes were initiated by the impending retirement of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who has led the Pentagon since 2006, under both Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush.
In an April 28 White House briefing, Obama announced he would nominate CIA Director Leon Panetta to the top Pentagon post and nominate current commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan Army Gen. David Petraeus to head the spy agency.
At that same briefing, Obama announced he would nominate Allen, the first Marine to command all U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, to serve as commander of ISAF and U.S. troops.
Obama also formally nominated Army Lt. Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti to serve as deputy ISAF and U.S. Forces Afghanistan commander and as commander of ISAF Joint Command, DoD announced.
Allen’s nomination — like the others — is subject to Senate confirmation. CIA Chief Panetta testified this week before the Senate Armed Services Committee to become the next defense secretary. Gates is slated to retire at the end of the month.