WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has named Air Force Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tapping a historic fighter pilot as his most senior military officer. rank of the country.
If confirmed by the Senate, Brown would become the second black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after Army General Colin Powell. His confirmation would also mark the first time the United States has had a black Joint Chiefs of Staff and a black Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, serving at the same time.
Biden formally announced Brown’s long-awaited nomination during a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden on Thursday afternoon. He would replace Army General Mark Milley, whose term ends in October.
“General Brown is a warrior, coming from a long line of warriors,” Biden said, pointing to his father’s service in the Vietnam War and his grandfather’s command of a separate military unit during the Second World War. World War. “He knows what it means to be in the thick of the battle and how to keep his cool when the going gets tough.”
Brown, whose Air Force career dates back to 1984, is highly regarded within the administration for his work modernizing the U.S. aircraft fleet and nuclear arsenal and his years of experience in the design of US defenses to deal with the rise of China. Brown also played a key role in the Pentagon’s military aid to Ukraine to fight the Russian invasion.
Brown brings more than 3,000 hours of fighter flight experience, including 130 combat hours, Biden said. The president said Brown had “unparalleled first-hand knowledge” of US military operations in all theaters.
“While General Brown is a proud, ass-kicking American airman, first and always, he was also an operational leader in the Joint Force,” Biden said, praising his “reputation around the force as a imperturbable and very efficient chef”.
“And someone smoking bad brisket,” Biden joked of the Texas native.
For the past three years, Brown, 60, has served as Air Force chief of staff. He is the first African American to hold this position and the first African American to lead one of the military branches. Brown has served at all levels of the Air Force and in joint commands, including in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Biden cited Brown’s motto “accelerate, change or lose.”
“General, you’re right,” Biden said. “With General Brown as President, I know I can count on his guidance as a military strategist and as a leader of military innovation, dedicated to keeping our military forces among the best in the world.”
Biden also called Brown a “thoughtful and deliberative leader,” praising him for an “unwavering video testimonial” he gave three years ago, sharing his personal experience with racism and love for his country. after the death of George Floyd.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden taps first black Joint Chiefs of Staff since Colin Powell