U.S. President Joe Biden announced his pick on Thursday for the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday.
President Biden tapped Air Force General Charles Q. Brown Jr., 61, to replace Army Gen. Mark Milley, whose term ends in October.
"I'm looking forward to having you at my side, advising me as the next chairman and helping keep the American people safe," Biden said during a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden.
If confirmed, the four-star general will become the second Black man to hold the position. The first was the late Army General Colin Powell. This would also be the first time in history that both the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the top leaders of the Defense Department, are African Americans.
In 2020, Brown made history by becoming the first African American chief of a U.S. military service.
"I'm thinking about my Air Force career, where I was often the only African American in my squadron," Brown said in a video posted on Facebook in 2020. "Or, as a senior officer, the only African American in the room. I'm thinking about wearing the same flight suit with the same wings on my chest as my peers and then being questioned by another military member: 'Are you a pilot?'. I'm thinking about how I sometimes felt my comments were perceived to represent the African American perspective, when it's just my perspective informed by being African American."
Brown, who goes by CQ, has commanded at every level in the Air Force. As an F-16 fighter pilot, Brown has nearly 3,000 flying hours and 130 combat hours.
Brown is also credited with making the U.S. nuclear arsenal more modern, bringing years of experience in adapting U.S. defenses to address the challenges posed by China, and helping equip Ukraine with the weapons needed to fight against Russian forces.
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