The Committee meets today to consider the nomination of General Joseph Dunford to be the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps. General Dunford, welcome to the Armed Services Committee and thank you for your many years of extraordinary service to our nation, and for your willingness to continue to serve. Please also extend our thanks to your family for their dedication and support, which is so critical to success. Please feel free to introduce any family members and others who are with you today.
General Dunford has an exemplary record of service and is highly qualified for the position to which he has been nominated. He has commanded Marines from the platoon-level to the Marine Expeditionary Force, he has served as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, and he is currently the Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, United States Forces, Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan General Dunford has commanded U.S. and coalition forces with distinction, the latest in a line of distinguished commanders in that position. He has overseen the critical transition from U.S. and coalition-led combat operations to Afghan-led operations throughout the country. Under General Dunford's leadership, the drawdown of U.S. forces, and the shift to a train, advise, and assist mission, is being carried out with considerable effectiveness. General Dunford has demonstrated remarkable skills as both a military leader and a diplomat, and his interactions with the Afghan leadership have been essential to keeping the transition in Afghanistan on track.
General Dunford, as Commandant of the Marine Corps, you will be tasked with recruiting and retaining a quality force, and ensuring that force contains the necessary structure and readiness levels to meet our nation's current challenges and the posture to respond to tomorrow's crises and contingencies. These responsibilities are demanding enough on their own; however, you will also be asked to assume control at a time of immense fiscal challenge, particularly because of sequestration.
Thank you again for your service to our nation. We look forward to your swift confirmation.