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(LEAD) ROTC general tapped as Army chief of staff for 1st time

11:29 September 21, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS photos, more details; UPDATES with minor edits)
By Oh Seok-min and Choi Soo-hyang

SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Yonhap) -- Ground Operations Command chief Gen. Nam Yeong-shin was tapped as the new Army chief of staff, the defense ministry said Monday, marking the first time that a general hailing from the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) has risen to the Army's top job.

Nam will succeed Suh Wook, who took office as defense minister last week, and will be the first ROTC general to lead the Army since its founding in 1948. So far, the top Army job has been held by generals hailing from the Korea Military Academy.

Monday's reshuffle also affected four other top military jobs.

Lt. Gen. Lee Seong-yong, chief directorate of strategic planning of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), was named to succeed Won In-choul as Air Force chief of staff, according to the ministry. Won was nominated to become the JCS chairman last month.

Nam, 58, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1985 following his graduation from the ROTC program at Dong-a University in the southeastern city of Busan.

He has served in key positions, including commander of the Defense Security Support Command and commander of the Special Warfare Command.

"As an expert in field operations and educational training, he is equipped with outstanding capabilities of operational command and organization management," the ministry said in a release.

In this file photo, taken on April 15, 2020, Ground Operations Command chief Gen. Nam Yeong-shin (R) poses for a photo with President Moon Jae-in at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul. He was appointed as the new Army chief on Sept. 21. (Yonhap)

Air Force chief of staff appointee Lee, 56, graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1986 and served as the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff before working at the JCS.

Monday's reshuffle also included Army Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Kim Seung-kyum's appointment as the new Combined Forces Command deputy commander. Lt. Gen. Ahn Joon-seok and Lt. Gen. Kim Jeong-su were also named the new Ground Operations Command commander and Second Operations Command commander, respectively.

"Through the reshuffle, the military will keep our firm defense readiness posture while militarily supporting the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishment of a lasting peace regime," the ministry said.

President Moon Jae-in will officially appoint them following a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

This file photo, taken on Oct. 8, 2019, shows Lt. Gen. Lee Seong-yong, chief directorate of strategic planning of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in Seoul. He was tapped as the new Air Force chief of staff on Sept. 21, 2020. (Yonhap)

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