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Report: Fort Benning Commander Likely to Lead Secretive JSOC

Maneuver Center of Excellence Commanding General Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, left, congratulates and presents a gift to Col. John Marr during Marr's retirement ceremony Sept. 5, 2014 at Derby Auditorium. (U.S. Army photo)
Maneuver Center of Excellence Commanding General Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, left, congratulates and presents a gift to Col. John Marr during Marr's retirement ceremony Sept. 5, 2014 at Derby Auditorium. (U.S. Army photo)

Fort Benning commander Maj. Gen. Scott Miller is likely to be the next head of the U.S. military's secretive Joint Special Operations Command, the Washington Post reported Monday.

The news, citing unnamed sources, was reported in Checkpoint, a Post military blog.

There has been no timetable given for Miller's likely departure from Fort Benning. Maneuver Center of Excellence spokesman Bob Purtiman said Fort Benning would have no comment at this time.

There has been speculation for weeks that Miller, a decorated Special Operations officer, would be leaving Fort Benning soon. He took command of the Army Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning on July 11, 2014.

At the time, Miller's appointment to lead Fort Benning was a departure from the norm. Though he is an Infantry officer, most of his career has been spent in the secretive Special Forces. In July 2014 Miller even joked about his assignment to lead Fort Benning, one of the most traditional posts in the Army.

"I have been joking about that -- 'Oh the Special Ops guy is coming to Fort Benning,'" Miller said on the day he took command. "I am a believer in the basics. What makes special operations strong is they master the basics. When you come back to Fort Benning, what do we do here? We go after the basics."

For the last 18 months, Miller has stressed those basics at Fort Benning. He has focused on physical fitness, training and readiness. He has stressed that soldiers competing in today's warfare need to be smart, fast, lethal and precise.

During the last year, Miller has directed one of the Army's most high-profile gender-integration experiments. Ranger School, the Army's toughest combat leadership training, accepted women last year for the first time in its 65-year history. Three female soldiers -- Capt. Kristen Griest, 1st Lt. Shaye Haver and Maj. Lisa Jaster -- became the first women to earn Ranger tabs.

Throughout the process, which took most of 2015, Miller defended the school and insisted there had been no lowering of standards.

A series of recently announced personnel moves at the Army's highest ranks will clear the path for Miller to lead JSOC, headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C. Gen. Joseph L. Votel has been nominated by the White House to lead the U.S. Central Command, which oversees the Middle East and Central Asia. Lt. Gen. Raymond Thomas III, who has led JSOC, has been nominated to fill the void at Special Operations Command vacated by Votel.

JSOC is a highly secretive section of the military that oversees the deployment of commandos and its aircraft and drones in the Global War on Terror. The nation's most elite forces including SEAL Team Six and Delta Force fall under this command.

As an Army captain in 1993, Miller was a Delta Force commander in the Battle of Mogadishu, which was documented in the book "Black Hawk Down" and later a movie.

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