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Immediate Release

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on President Biden's Nomination of a New Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

I enthusiastically support President Biden’s decision to nominate Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., as the 21st Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Brown is an outstanding joint warfighter and a thoughtful, strategic leader who will bring his trademark skill, talent and judgment to this critical role, if confirmed. 

During his 39 years of service to our nation, Gen. Brown has excelled as a fighter pilot, military strategist, and senior commander. He has served as both instructor and commandant at the elite Air Force Weapons School. From serving as a wing commander in South Korea and Italy to pioneering innovative operational concepts as the Pacific Air Forces commander, Gen. Brown has developed the expertise, the vision, and the warfighting acumen to help the President and senior DoD leaders navigate today’s toughest national security challenges. In his tenure leading the U.S. Air Force, he has been a model of strategic clarity and a powerful force for progress. 

I saw his talents firsthand when I was the commander of CENTCOM. General Brown served as the commander of Air Forces Central, my air component. He superbly led forces in combat during the air campaign against ISIS and rallied a broad coalition of allies and partners to help shatter the group’s self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Gen. Brown is an inspiring and effective leader and a man of deep integrity and compassion. Throughout his career, he has insisted on doing right by his teammates and their families. As Chief of Staff of the Air Force — and the first Black leader of a U.S. military service — he has worked hard to draw upon the strength and talents of all of the American people and to give our Service members and their loved ones the support that they deserve. 

On behalf of the entire Department, I am grateful to Gen. Brown’s wife, Sharene, and their sons, Sean and Ross, for everything they have done to support this outstanding warfighter and leader. I thank Gen. Brown for his lifetime of service and his willingness to shoulder this weighty new responsibility. I look forward to his wise counsel and to serving alongside him to keep America strong, safe, and secure.

Let me also applaud the distinguished service of our current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Mark Milley. He has been a reliable partner in challenging times, and I am thankful for his counsel, his vision, and his unflagging love of country. Our nation and our military are stronger because of his superb leadership and sound advice. I am grateful to him and his wife Hollyanne for their service and selflessness.