Lloyd Austin

Military Leader / Secretary of Defense / Soldier
Date Of Birth:
8 August 1953
Place Of Birth:
Mobile, Alabama
Best Known As:
The first Black American to be Defense Secretary
General Lloyd J. Austin III was sworn in as the United States Secretary of Defense on January 22, 2021, three days before President Joe Biden was inaugurated. Austin was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 98-2 and is the first black American to hold the post. Austin is a graduate of the U.S. military academy at West Point, New York (1975) and also holds advanced degrees earned while stationed around the U.S. A combat veteran of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, by 2008 Austin was a lieutenant general and the second-highest ranking U.S. Army officer in Iraq. By 2010 Austin was the commanding general of U.S. forces in Iraq, and in 2013 President Barack Obama made him commander of CENTCOM (Central Command). Austin retired in 2016 as a four-star general, but received a congressional waiver of the requirement that a Secretary of Defense must be out of the military for at least 7 years. Austin also serves on the board of defense contractor Raytheon Technologies. He overcame that obstacle with a promise to recuse himself in matters relating to the company, and was swiftly approved by the Senate and sworn in.

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