Army chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19

In this photo released by the Royal Thai Army, a health officer collects a nasal swab sample from Gen. James McConville, chief of staff of the U.S. Army, to test for the coronavirus at the military airport in Bangkok on July 9, 2020.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, an Army official announced Monday.

“[McConville] is experiencing very mild symptoms similar to seasonal allergies and is currently working remotely while adhering to all [Centers for Disease Control] protocols,” said his spokesperson, Lt. Col Mary Ricks.

Ricks added that the Army’s top general “is fully vaccinated and has received two COVID-19 boosters.”

As the Army’s chief of staff, McConville represents the Army in the highest levels of government and oversees the training and organization of soldiers who aren’t deployed under the control of combatant commanders.

He’s held the role since 2019, guiding the Army’s pivot towards preparing for large-scale combat operations as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan waned. McConville has also advocated for major technological modernization projects that he sees as critical to the service’s future success.

McConville is not the only member of the Joint Chiefs to have contracted the virus in recent months.

Both the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Mark Milley, and the Marine Corps’ top general, Gen. David Berger, caught it in January.

The two generals also experienced mild symptoms and were able to keep working as they recovered.

Davis Winkie is a staff reporter covering the Army. He originally joined Military Times as a reporting intern in 2020. Before journalism, Davis worked as a military historian. He is also a human resources officer in the Army National Guard.

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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.