The US Senate has overwhelmingly confirmed four-star Army General Mark Milley as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the most powerful position of the American armed forces.

Milley, 61, who had said during his confirmation hearing that his strategy would be to continue to bolster and maintain continuity of the defence relationship with India, is currently the head of the US Army.

He will replace General Joseph Dunford as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The United States Senate on Thursday confirmed him by an overwhelming 89-1 votes.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff serves as the President’s senior-most uniformed military adviser.

Milley said: “I am humbled and honoured to be confirmed as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Thank you to the President and the Senate for their confidence.”

Outgoing chairman Dunford said that Milley will be a “superb Chairman”.

“The President, Secretary of Defence, and our men and women in uniform will be well served by his superb leadership, intellect, operational experience and deep understanding of today’s national security challenges,” Dunford said.

During his confirmation hearing, Milley said that his strategy would be to continue to bolster and maintain continuity of the defence relationship with India through the existing bilateral military-to-military dialogues as well as participation in senior-level meetings such as the 2+2 Ministerial.

“Specifically, I will prioritise increasing our interoperability and information-sharing capabilities with the Indian Armed Forces,” Milley had said.

Senator Jim Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said: “General Milley has dedicated his life to service to our nation and now he will continue that service as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. I commend the President for his selection of General Milley and thank the Senate for confirming him today”.

“The nature and scope of threats to our national security have changed and our world is more dangerous than it is ever been in my lifetime.

“As our civilian leaders decide how best to handle these threats, they rely on the strategic advice of top military officials, especially the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Strong leadership is required,” Inhofe said.

As the principal military adviser to the president, General Milley will bring fortitude and a vast array of experience and knowledge to decisions made at the highest level, Senator Moran said.

Senator Kevin Cramer said that General Milley is an impressive public servant who will make an excellent Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.