General Martin Dempsey

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General Martin Dempsey

18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

As a Rubenstein Fellow, General Dempsey teaches several courses on leadership and military relations including a course in the Sanford School of Public Policy on American civil-military relations, co-taught with Professor Peter Feaver, and a course on management and leadership at The Fuqua School of Business.

In addition, Dempsey collaborates with the Duke Program on American Grand Strategy to convene security and defense experts, engages with the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE) and Duke Athletics, and delivers guest speeches to student, faculty, and alumni groups.

Biography

General Martin E. Dempsey recently retired after 41 years of military service.  During his time in the Army, he commanded a Cavalry Troop, a Tank Battalion, a Cavalry Regiment, a Tank Division, and United States Central Command where he was responsible for securing U.S. interests in the Middle East and South Asia.  He served in both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom accumulating 42 months in combat.

General Dempsey is a 1974 graduate of West Point and has Master’s Degrees from Duke in Literature, from the Army Command & General Staff College in Military Science, and from the National War College in National Security Strategy. He also has an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Law from Notre Dame University.

His military awards include the Bronze Star with valor device, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, and Distinguished Service Medals from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard as well as awards from other Departments in the United States Government including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency.  He has received awards from many of our allies including France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore.

In the past five years he served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army and then as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he was the senior officer in the Armed Forces and the military advisor to the Secretary of Defense and to the President.

In 2015, General Dempsey was named one of the 100 most influential leaders in the world by Time Magazine. In March of this year, he was inducted into the Irish-America Hall of Fame, and in May he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. On 17 October 2016, Queen Elizabeth II made General Dempsey an Honorary Knight of the British Empire.

General Dempsey and his wife, Deanie, have been married for 39 years.  They served the military as a team, and Deanie was instrumental in supporting military families and championing many of the family programs that have been critical to our success over the past 14 years of conflict.

Marty and Deanie have three children and nine grandchildren.  Each of their three children served in the Army, and their son, Chris, continues to serve as a Major recently assigned to the Pentagon.

General Dempsey’s post-military career includes a teaching position at Duke University in public policy and leadership, a role as the Special Advisor to the Commissioner of the National Basketball Association for leader development and youth programs, and motivational speaking through the Washington Speakers’ Bureau.

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General Martin Dempsey News & Events

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4Jan, 2016

America's former top military official chides Trump’s 'Space Force' proposal, says it was 'raffled off,' and tells Congress to 'sort this out'

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Business Insider | August 10, 2018 By John Haltiwanger President Donald Trump’s call for the Department of Defense to create a new branch of the military dubbed the “Space Force” continues to face opposition from former and current military officials. The latest example came from former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey,…

4Jan, 2016

America's Anti-Iran Push May Get Harder with Nuclear Deal Pullout

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Reuters | May 9, 2018 By Phil Stewart The United States risks greater isolation and unpredictability in its anti-Iran drive after President Donald Trump opted to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal despite warnings from European allies, advisers and even some fellow Republicans, experts say. Trump said on Tuesday he was withdrawing the United…

4Jan, 2016

Listen, Amplify, Include: Leadership for the Modern Age

Friday, May 4, 2018

BRINK | May 3, 2018 Interview with David Gillespie An interview with Gen. Martin Dempsey, Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff & Ori Brafman, Lecturer at University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business Retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Berkeley professor Ori Brafman come from very different backgrounds. One is a…

“My recent experience suggests that the future will belong to those who remain grounded in values and yet adaptable in their thinking. I look forward to contributing to the development of future generations of leaders who come to Duke to be challenged and to make a difference.”
- General Martin Dempsey, 2016-18 Rubenstein Fellow

“Gen. Dempsey has held a key leadership role at a time when American national security has grown to include every traditional challenge and many new ones as well. Few people alive know as much about the risks of the global world and are as thoughtful about their implications.”

Richard H. Brodhead

President