Thomas is Picked to Lead US Special Operations Command

Lt. Gen. Raymond "Tony" Thomas (US Army)
Lt. Gen. Raymond "Tony" Thomas (US Army)

WASHINGTON -- Lt. Gen. Raymond "Tony" Thomas has been nominated to be the new leader of U.S. Special Operations Command, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced Monday.

Thomas is leaving his position as Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg in North Carolina to assume the top position in the special operations community. He will replace Gen. Joseph Votel, who is leaving Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, to become the commander of U.S. Central Command.

"General Thomas has big boots to fill, but he has proven himself as a soldier, special operator and leader time and time again over the course of his illustrative career," Carter said.

Thomas is a 1980 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He also was an Army Ranger who deployed to Afghanistan shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.

"The president, Chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph] Dunford and I have complete confidence in his capability to assume the vital, worldwide responsibilities of [Special Operations Command]," Carter said.

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