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Lloyd Austin confirmed by Senate becomes first Black Secretary of Defense

The retired four star Army general was confirmed by the Senate in a 93-2 vote.

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Five Fast Facts

  • Lloyd Austin cruised through confirmation approved 93-2 in a floor vote of the Senate, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Senator Mike Lee ( R-UT) were the only members to vote no
  • Austin’s approval has some controversy attached to it – a Secretary of Defense is supposed to be a civilian for at least 7 years before holding the position – Austin retired from the Army in 2016 – a waiver was given by both the House and Senate
  • Austin is not the first Secretary of Defense to receive a waiver and the tactic was used by the Trump Administration to approve James Mattis
  • Austin was a four star general in the Army, was the first Black general to command an Army division in combat, and the commanding general of U.S. forces in Iraq
  • Austin is another person in the BIPOC community breaking barriers within the Biden Administration

WASHINGTON – The Senate on Friday confirmed Lloyd Austin as the nation’s first Black defense secretary, the second nominee of President Joe Biden to be confirmed by the chamber.

Austin is a retired four-star Army general who will be the first Black secretary of defense. He was the first Black general to command an Army division in combat and also the first to oversee an entire theater of operations as the commanding general of U.S. forces in Iraq.

Read more at USA Today

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