NBA appoints retired General Martin E. Dempsey special adviser to Adam Silver

General Martin E. Dempsey ( Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images))
General Martin E. Dempsey was the highest-ranking U.S. military officer for the past four years. ( Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NEW YORK – The NBA announced today that retired General Martin E. Dempsey, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been appointed Special Adviser to Commissioner Adam Silver, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

General Dempsey, who held the position as the highest-ranking U.S. military officer for the past four years, will provide the NBA with counsel on leadership and service, while continuing to support the league’s military and youth basketball initiatives.  In this role, he will participate in year-round NBA events including NBA Global Games, NBA All-Star and various league meetings.  In addition, he will serve as chairman of the newly formed Jr. NBA Leadership Council, which will help guide the NBA’s efforts to engage five million youth over the next two years through a network of affiliated youth basketball organizations, live events and interactive experiences.

“Basketball has always been a favorite sport in my family and, through my relationship with the NBA, I’ve seen firsthand how it can bring people together,” said General Dempsey.  “After four decades of service in the United States Armed Forces, I look forward to working with the league to help improve communities and positively impact the children of civilian and military families.”

“We are honored to have one of our country’s most respected leaders, as well as a brilliant strategist, serve as our Special Adviser,” said Silver.  “General Dempsey’s unwavering commitment to a life of service reflects the values that we strive to embody as an organization, and I am delighted he will continue his work with the league.”

Since becoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2011, General Dempsey has been a strong supporter of the NBA’s Hoops for Troops program, which conducted basketball clinics and health seminars on military bases throughout the country.  In April 2014, General Dempsey joined Silver to launch Commitment to Service, a collaboration with the Department of Defense focused on four pillars: transition, community, leadership and health.  In addition to participating in food-packing events and hands-on service projects with the NBA, General Dempsey has spoken on leadership panels with members of the USA Basketball coaching staff at the Pentagon and Nellis Air Force Base.

General Dempsey’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, as well as the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard Distinguished Medals.  Additionally, he has received the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star with “V” Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Action Badge and the Parachutist Badge.

A 1974 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, General Dempsey holds advanced degrees in Military Art and National Security Studies from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the National War College, respectively.  He also has a master’s degree in English from Duke University, where he will be teaching as a David Rubenstein fellow.