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Another Historic Event in US : Gen. Lloyd J. Austin Becomes the First Black Person to Serve as Defense Secretary

Gen. Lloyd J. Austin at the Pentagon on Jan 22, 2021

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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