Senior U.S. officials say President Bush will name Marine General Peter Pace as the

Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Gen. Peter Pace, right, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld share a light moment during a town hall meeting with Pentagon employees
next chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The officials say Mr. Bush will make the announcement soon, although no date was given.

General Pace has served as the Joint Chiefs' vice chairman since 2001. In that post, he has helped to manage the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan while leading efforts to transform the military for the war on terror and other 21st century needs.

The 59-year-old general was a rifle platoon leader during the Vietnam War and has served as head of the U.S. Southern Command.

The Joint Chiefs chairman is the president's top military adviser. If confirmed by the Senate, General Pace would succeed Air Force General Richard Myers, who is due to retire this year.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.