On Friday, January 22, 2021, US Senators overwhelmingly have approved General Lloyd J. Austin as Defense secretary. Confirmed by the Senate as Defense secretary by a vote of 93-2, Gen Lloyd J. Austin becomes the first Black American in charge of the Pentagon.
Who is General Lloyd J. Austin
Gen Lloyd Austin is a retired four-star Army general. He is a native of Georgia, the state that made history in the recent US 2020 elections (see AfroAmerica Network: Georgia US Senate Runoff Election: Jon Ossoff, Rev Raphael Warnock, and Stacey Abrams Make History).
Lloyd J. Austin, a West Point graduate, rose to the Army’s elite ranks, breaking racial barriers in a carreer that spanned 41-year. Gen Lloyd Austin commanded U.S. forces in the Middle East. He retired in 2016.
To be confirmed, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate voted to waive a law that requires former officers at least seven years after their services, before they could become Defense secretary.
After the confirmation, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that Gen Lloyd is a "powerful symbol of the diversity and history of America's armed forces ... Mr. Austin has a storied career in the Army but those days are behind him. As secretary of Defense he has promised to empower and lift up his civilian staff, and I believe he will be an outstanding secretary of Defense."
@AfroAmerica Network, 2021