updated 4/23/2005 6:55:49 AM ET 2005-04-23T10:55:49

President Bush on Friday named Marine Gen. Peter Pace, who quietly helped shape the Pentagon’s role in the global war on terrorism, to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Pace, 59, would succeed Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers. He was expected to win easy Senate confirmation.

“He knows the job well,” Bush said in announcing the nomination.

The first Marine selected for the nation’s top uniformed military post, Pace also is only the second vice chairman to rise to chairman. Myers, due to retire Sept. 30 after four years on the job, was the first.

Bush announced the nomination in a Roosevelt Room ceremony at the White House.

“The first thing America needs to know about Pete Pace is that he is a Marine,” Bush said. “To the American people, the Marine is shorthand for can-do, and I’m counting on Pete Pace to bring the Marine spirit to these new responsibilities.”

Praising his “wisdom and determination,” Bush said Pace would help with the mission of transforming the armed forces “so we can defeat today’s enemies while preparing ourselves for military challenges we will face as this new century unfolds.”

‘Trust and faith’
The president also praised Myers for being “able service over four decades, and his tireless dedication to duty and country.”

For his part, Pace thanked Bush for his “trust and faith in me.”

“This is an incredible moment for me,” Pace said. He said the promotion was “exhilarating,” but also added, “I know the challenges ahead are formidable.”

Bush also said he was nominating Navy Adm. Edmund Giambastiani Jr. as deputy Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Giambastiani, 56, was Rumsfeld’s senior military assistant before being named commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command in 2002.

After stumbling over Giambastiani’s name several times, Bush dubbed him “Admiral G” to laughter.

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