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By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2010 – The Senate yesterday confirmed Gen. James F. Amos as the 35th Marine Corps commandant, to replace retiring Gen. James T. Conway who has served in the post since November 2006.
The voice vote makes Amos the first career aviation officer to hold the top Marine post. He is slated to be sworn at an Oct. 22 ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington, officials reported.
The Senate's confirmation vote makes Amos, who has served as assistant commandant since July 2008, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Senate yesterday also confirmed Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of I Marine Expeditionary Force, to serve as Amos' deputy.
During his Sept. 21 confirmation hearing, Amos vowed to make winning the war in Afghanistan his top priority. Amos added that he'll be forthright in assessing the Marine Corps' needs.
"I am keenly aware of the challenges our nation faces today, and likely will face in the future," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "And, I understand the critical role of our expeditionary forces."
In the biggest headline-making comments during the hearing, Amos told questioning lawmakers he personally opposes repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law that prohibits gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military. He vowed, however, to ensure that whatever is decided regarding the law, he would ensure that it is enforced.
Amos credited Conway with producing what he said are the best Marines in decades.
"Our Marines have never been better trained, or better led," he said. "They are simply magnificent."