The NATO alliance has appointed U.S. Marine Corps General James Jones as the top allied military commander in Europe.
General Jones will replace U.S. Air Force General Joseph Ralston as the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, a post traditionally held by an American military officer.
No date for the handover has been set. But General Jones has also been nominated by President Bush to be the next commander-in-chief of U.S. forces in Europe, a position that requires Senate confirmation.
General Jones, born in France, is a decorated Vietnam veteran who is currently serving as commander of the Marine Corps. His appointment to the European positions marks the first time a Marine Corps general has taken charge of NATO forces.