Mullen replaces Gen. Peter Pace, the first Marine to hold the country’s highest military position. Pace, who was named to the post in 2005, was not named to a second two-year term.
“Adm. Mike Mullen understands what's at stake in the war on terror,” Bush said. “He was on duty at the Pentagon when Flight 77 made its doomed plunge. He felt the plane slam into the building. He saw the carnage and devastation.”
Bush also praised Pace for his long military career and his work as chairman.
“He helped craft America's response to an unprecedented assault on our homeland,” the president said. “He helped liberate two nations from brutal tyrannies and helped bring freedom to millions of people.”
A small group of anti-war protesters demonstrated outside Fort Myers during the change of command ceremony.