Continuing the remarkable number of Irish Americans in key positions in the Obama administration, Irish New Yorker General Martin Dempsey will shortly be appointed head of the Joint Chief of Staffs according to The New York Times.

Dempsey from Goshen, New York about 40 miles from Manhattan will replace another Irishman Admiral Mike Mullen.

He is currently Commanding General of the Army.He will take up his new post in September.

Dempsey was a surprise choice to replace Admiral Mike Mullen but had impressed both CIA Director Leon Panetta and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

According to Wikiepdia, while in Iraq, he commanded 1st Armored Division, in addition to its own brigades, had operational command over the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment and a brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division; the command, called "Task Force Iron" in recognition of the Division's nickname, "Old Ironsides", was the largest division-level command in the history of the United States Army.

It was during this time that the U.S. intervention in Iraq changed dramatically as Fallujah fell to Sunni extremists and supporters of Muqtada Sadr built their strength and rose up against American forces. Then Major General Dempsey and his command assumed responsibility for the Area of Operations in Baghdad as the insurgency incubated, grew, and exploded. General Dempsey was given a critical role in ensuring that peace was restored and had great success.