General Martin Dempsey, USA (Ret)
Member, TAPS Board of Directors
General Martin E. Dempsey recently retired after 41 years of military service. During his time in the Army, he commanded a Cavalry Troop, a Tank Battalion, a Cavalry Regiment, a Tank Division, and United States Central Command where he was responsible for securing U.S. interests in the Middle East and South Asia. He served in both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom accumulating 42 months in combat.
General Dempsey is a 1974 graduate of West Point and has Master’s Degrees from Duke in Literature, from the Army Command & General Staff College in Military Science, and from the National War College in National Security Strategy. He also has an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Law from Notre Dame University.
His military awards include the Bronze Star with valor device, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, and Distinguished Service Medals from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard as well as awards from other Departments in the United States Government including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. He has received awards from many of our allies including France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore.
In the past five years he served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army and then as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he was the senior officer in the Armed Forces and the military advisor to the Secretary of Defense and to the President.
In 2015, General Dempsey was named one of the 100 most influential leaders in the world by Time Magazine. He has been inducted into the Irish-America Hall of Fame, and he has received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Most recently, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
General Dempsey and his wife, Deanie, have been married for 41 years. They served the military as a team, and Deanie was instrumental in supporting military families and championing many of the family programs that have been critical to our success over the past 16 years of conflict.
Marty and Deanie have three children and nine grandchildren. Each of their three children served in the Army, and their son, Chris, continues to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel.
General Dempsey’s post-military career includes a teaching position at Duke University in public policy and leadership, a role as the Special Advisor to the Commissioner of the National Basketball Association for leader development and youth programs, and as Chairman of USA Basketball. General Dempsey also sits on the Boards of TAPS and The Bob Woodruff Foundation.