Biden names Air Force chief as Head of Joint Chiefs

Biden picks Brown as Chairman Joint Chief of Staff

In another move that would break one of the U.S. armed forces’ last color barriers, President Joe Biden has picked U.S. Air Force chief General Charles Q. Brown to become the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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Brown would replace the outgoing chairman Army General Mark Milley, a loquacious Boston native whose tenure included both the Trump and Biden administrations.

Brown is currently the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force

Brown, whose long-anticipated appointment is subject to Senate confirmation, would be only the second Black officer to become chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after Colin Powell two decades ago.

Biden’s official schedule for Wednesday said: “In the afternoon, the president will announce his intent to nominate General Charles Q. Brown, Jr. to serve as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

The move follows Biden’s appointment of Lloyd Austin to become the first Black U.S. secretary of defense, the top civilian position at the Pentagon.

A senior Biden administration official said Biden had accepted Austin’s recommendation to pick Brown for the position, believing he “understands the strategic challenges the United States faces around the world.”

“He helped build and lead the air campaign against ISIS. He is deeply versed in the challenges posed by the PRC (Peoples Republic of China). And he has a strong understanding of our NATO allies’ perspectives and capabilities,” the official said.

Upon Brown’s confirmation, Black Americans would hold the top two positions at the Pentagon for the first time – a major milestone for an institution that is diverse in its lower ranks but largely white and male at the top.


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