Hale's A Commish (Updated)

By John Liang, Sebastian Sprenger / March 18, 2015 at 2:44 PM

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) has appointed former Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale to the Commission on the Future of the United States Army, according to a statement issued this afternoon from Smith's office.

"Mr. Hale has devoted much of his professional career to defense policy and budget issues," Smith said in the statement. "Many of these issues, including management of wartime budgets and handling the effects of sequestration, led him to work closely with senior Army leaders on issues of great significance to the service. This experience, along with his broad knowledge of national security and resource issues, makes him a perfect fit for the Commission. I am pleased that he accepted my invitation to serve."

The Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act mandated the establishment of the commission, which "is tasked with a comprehensive study of the structure of the Army," Smith's statement reads. The commission is tasked with submitting recommendations regarding the Army's structure by Feb. 1, 2016.

Out of a total eight commissioners, four are appointed by Congress and four by the president.

UPDATE 4:55 p.m.: Senate Armed Services Committee leaders John McCain (R-AZ) and Jack Reed (D-RI) picked retired Army Gen. James Thurman and retired Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler III, respectively, to serve on the panel.

The White House choices, announced this afternoon, are retired Army Gen. Larry Ellis, Kathleen Hicks of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Thomas Lamont, and former Army Reserve chief retired Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) announced he was appointing retired Army Gen. Carter Ham, the former head of U.S. Africa Command.