Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is sidestepping protocol for his next Army chief of staff.
Sources say he'll name retired four-star general Peter Schoomaker to become the Army's top general.
The choice may raise some eyebrows -- because it's rare to bypass senior active-duty generals in favor of a retired officer for such a post.
Schoomaker is the former U.S. Special Operations commander at Fort Bragg who retired in 2000. He was a college football star who went on to serve with Army armor and cavalry units, and later in the Army's secretive Delta Force, which specializes in counter-terrorism missions.
The nomination -- which will need Senate approval -- has not been officially announced.
The current chief of staff, General Eric Shinseki, retires tomorrow.