Four-star US Army Gen. Lloyd Austin retired in 2016 and has more than 40 years of military experience. If cleared by US Congress, his nomination would mark him as the first Black official to serve as the US’ secretary of defense.
Projected US President-elect Joe Biden confirmed on Tuesday that he would be nominating Austin to serve as the 28th secretary of the US Department of Defense.
A statement issued by Biden’s transition team noted that Austin “is a trusted and crisis-tested leader who has overseen some of the most complex and impactful operations int he history of the armed services – including serving as the chief architect of the effort to defeat [Daesh] in Iraq and Syria.”
In a separate piece published in The Atlantic, Biden wrote that Austin is a “true and tested soldiers and leader,” and that as a result of spending “countless hours with him,” the former vice president determined this his nominee “is the definition of a patriot.”
“He rose through the Army’s ranks during his distinguished and trailblazing career. He was the 200th person ever to attain the rank of an Army four-star general, but only the sixth African American,” Biden stated. “He built a career grounded in service to this country and challenged the institution that he loves to grow more inclusive and more diverse at every step.”
“He was the first African American general officer to lead an Army corps in combat and the first African American…