David Goldfein, Jewish US Air Force chief, is stepping down


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Gen. David Goldfein, who for a time was in line to become the first Jewish chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, has retired as Air Force chief.

Goldfein, 60, stepped down as scheduled on Thursday, The Washington Post reported.

James Mattis, the defense secretary in 2018, had tapped Goldfein to be the country’s next top uniformed military official. In December, just as President Donald Trump was falling out with Mattis over the president’s insistence on pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, Trump instead named Mark Milley, then the army chief, to the role. Mattis quit in January 2019.

Goldfein was named to the top Air Force job by President Barack Obama in 2016.

In June, Goldfein took the unusual step of issuing a declaration on the police killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd, calling it a “national tragedy.”

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