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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, meets with Lt. Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of Joint Special Operations Command, at Fort Bragg, N.C., on April 23. Hagel announced last month that President Barack Obama has selected Votel to serve as the next four-star commander of U.S. Special Operations Command. Special to The Forum

Army general from Minnesota tapped to lead US Special Operations forces

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ST. PAUL — Not many military officers become a general in a church.

But in September 2004, when Joseph Votel was promoted to Army brigadier general, he wanted the ceremony to be held in his hometown of St. Paul, in a Catholic church on the city’s West Side where he grew up.

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