WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey is stepping down from his post as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, transitioning the responsibility to Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. on Friday.
The transition of responsibility and an Armed Forces Full Honors Retirement Ceremony will take place at the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. Dempsey's retirement marks the end of his over 41 years of service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Dempsey graduated from the United States Military Academy as an Armor officer in 1974. He went on to serve in the 1st Squadron, 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, later moving on to be the Executive Officer of the 3rd Brigade Armored Division during Operation Desert Storm.
During the Iraq war, Dempsey managed the largest division-level command in the history of the U.S. Army.
Dempsey assumed the role Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in October 2011, making him the highest-ranking military officer in the U.S. Armed Forces. The office serves as military advisory the President, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense.
Dempsey has been awarded special distinctions several times during his service, including he Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star with "V" Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.