WASHINGTON, July 30 (UPI) -- Former Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday as the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing the outgoing Gen. Martin Dempsey.
Dunford became the United States' top military officer after a relatively smooth confirmation, with the only apparent issue a dispute between Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a critic of military sexual assault policy, and military officials.
Gillibrand stalled the confirmation process for about two days, which had nothing to do with Dunford's credentials but with data availability of sexual assaults at large military bases.
Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter assured Gillibrand that the information on sexual assaults would be made available soon on Wednesday and Dunford was confirmed hours later.
President Barack Obama nominated Dunford on May 5, praising him as "one of the most admired officers in our military."
"I know Joe. I trust him," Obama said. "He's already proven his ability to give me his unvarnished military advice based on his experience on the ground."
Dunford was an "outstanding selection," Chairman of the Armed Services Committee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said.