The U.S. Army has nominated long-time modernization guru Lt. Gen. John Murray for appointment to general at a time when the service is close to naming the four-star who will lead the new Army Futures Command.
Murray's name appeared yesterday on the Senate nominations page for appointment to general -- three days after Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters at the Pentagon that the Army had nominated an officer to command AFC and lead the service's ambitious effort to build a future fighting force.
The publication Inside the Army reported Tuesday that Murray’s nomination to head Futures Command had been sent to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week, although no public announcement has been made.
Milley said the nomination had not been made public during a Friday press conference to announce that Austin, Texas, had been selected as the location to base Army Futures Command. The selection of Austin ends an exhaustive, three-month screening of major U.S. cities to find one with the right mix of high-tech industry and academia to assist the service in achieving its modernization goals, Army officials say.
Military.com asked the Army to confirm whether Murray is being nominated to a four-star slot to command AFC, but AFC spokesman Col. Patrick Seiber said the service only "announces positions/assignments for 3 and 4 stars once confirmed by the Senate."
This is not the first time Murray, who currently serves as the deputy chief of staff for Army G-8, has been mentioned publicly as a candidate to lead AFC.
In his current job, Murray has been the Army's voice of modernization at congressional hearings and other public events. As an infantry officer, Murray held leadership positions ranging from commanding 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, during Operation Iraqi Freedom to serving as commanding general of Joint Task Force-3 in Afghanistan.
Murray has also served as director of Force Management at the Pentagon; assistant deputy director for Joint Training, J-7, on the Joint Staff; and director of the Joint Center for Operational Analysis for U.S. Joint Forces Command.
The Army announced its plan to stand up Army Futures Command last October when the service unveiled its six new modernization priorities: long-range precision fires; next-generation combat vehicle; future vertical lift; a mobile network; air and missile defense; and soldier lethality.
AFC is scheduled to be at full operational capability by next summer.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.