General Austin Becomes First Black Defense Secretary in U.S. History

General Austin Becomes First Black Defense Secretary in U.S. History

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General Austin Becomes First Black Defense Secretary in U.S. History

The Senate confirmed Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III as defense secretary in a 93-2 vote, filling a critical national security role in President Biden’s cabinet and making him the first Black Pentagon chief.

“This morning, the Senate will vote to confirm President Biden’s nominee for secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin. Mr. Austin will be the first African-American to ever helm the Defense Department in its history, 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 promised to empower and lift up his civilian staff. And I believe he will be an outstanding secretary of defense for everyone at the Pentagon, service members and civilian employees alike.” “General Austin is an exceptionally qualified leader with a long and distinguished career in the United States military. He’s served at the highest echelons of the Army and capped his service as the commander of U.S. Central Command. His character and integrity are unquestioned, and he possesses the knowledge and skill to effectively lead the Pentagon.” “We have China and Russia out there with capabilities that we didn’t really believe we would find ourselves with. So that’s going to be the primary concern of this new administration. And I can’t think of a better person to take the helm than General Austin.” “The yeas are 93, the nays are two, and the nomination is confirmed. Under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table, and the president will be immediately notified of the Senate’s actions.” “Hello everybody.” Reporter: “Mr. Secretary, how does it feel to be back in this building?” “Good to see you guys, and thanks for being here. I look forward to working with you. See you around campus.” Reporter: “What are your priorities, Mr. Secretary, at the start?”

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