Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of Special Operations Command, has surfaced as the White House’s top choice to succeed Gen. Lloyd Austin as head of U.S. Central Command, Defense One reported Thursday.
Kevin Baron writes Votel became SOCOM’s commander in August 2014 after he led the Joint Special Operations Command and its counterterrorism missions for almost three years.
The 35-year Army veteran also managed the 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and the 82nd Airborne Division as well as supported Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
CENTCOM participates in the U.S. military’s battle against the Islamic State organization and supports international efforts to fight terrorism in the Middle East, Baron reports.
A DoD official told Defense One that Gen. Phil Breedlove, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, and U.S. Africa Command’s Gen. David Rodriguez are the other potential candidates to lead CENTCOM.