ARLINGTON, Va. --
President Barack Obama nominated Gen. James Mattis July 21 to serve as the commander of U.S. Central Command.
Mattis, who currently serves as the commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, was also nominated for reappointment to the rank of general.
As the commander of CENTCOM, Mattis would assist with security efforts in 20 countries throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, including Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mattis is no stranger to this area, having served as the commander of U.S. Marine Forces Central Command, as well as the commanding general of 1st Marine Division in 2003.
The CENTCOM commander position opened June 30 when the Senate confirmed Army Gen. David Petraeus would take over as the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Mattis graduated from Central Washington State University in 1972. The Pacific Northwest native has also attended the Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the National War College.