With his term ending on October 1 and the new Chief of General Staff, General Charles Q. Brown Jr. will take office, Milley spoke at an official ceremony held at a military base in Arlington.

Milley's statement that American soldiers do not pledge allegiance to a "wannabe dictator" was interpreted in the American press as "a reference to former US President Donald Trump".

"We do not pledge allegiance to a country, a tribe, a religion. We do not pledge allegiance to a king, a queen or a tyrant, a dictator. We are not pledging allegiance to a wannabe dictator," Milley said, emphasizing that they are not swearing allegiance to these, but to the constitution.

On September 27, Trump criticized Milley's meeting with his Chinese counterpart in the last month of his presidency without his knowledge. Milley said he would "take the necessary measures" to ensure the safety of himself and his family after Trump's posts.

Praise for Milley from Biden

In his speech, US President Joe Biden praised Milley's military career and patriotism, noting that Milley served in many war zones from Panama to Haiti, Afghanistan to Iraq.