Association of the United States Army | October 2, 2019


Retired Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the 18th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and 37th Army chief of staff, was selected by the Council of Trustees of the Association of the U.S. Army as the 2019 recipient of the George Catlett Marshall Medal for sustained commitment to the men and women of America’s armed forces.

This award, AUSA’s highest honor for distinguished public service, will be presented Oct. 16 at the George Catlett Marshall Memorial Dinner, the final event of the 2019 Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C.

Dempsey, a career armor officer and 1974 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, retired in 2015 after 41 years of military service that included combat service in Iraq and professional development assignments at West Point, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the National War College.

His major command assignments included the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, the 1st Armored Division, Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

He became Army chief of staff in April 2011 and chairman of the Joint Chiefs in September 2011. Since retiring, Dempsey has been a devoted supporter of service members, veterans and their families, and Gold Star families.

As a Rubenstein Fellow at Duke University in North Carolina, he lectures and teaches about ethical leadership. He also serves as chairman of USA Basketball, the national governing body that selects the teams that represent the U.S. in international competitions, up to and including the Olympics.

In this essay, Dempsey reflects on his career, his family and leadership.