Defense Secretary Ash Carter has nominated Gen. David L. Goldfein to serve as the next Air Force chief of staff. Goldfein, now the service’s vice chief, would succeed retiring Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. A command pilot by training, Goldfein flew combat missions during operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Allied Force and Enduring Freedom. As a senior officer, Goldfein recently served as the director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1983.