Biden to nominate Air Force general as top US officer

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden will nominate Air Force General Charles Brown to succeed Army General Mark Milley as the country’s top military official.

Brown would be the second Black officer to lead the Joint Chiefs of Staff, following Colin Powell from 1989 to 1993, at a period when the Pentagon is led by Lloyd Austin, the country’s first Black secretary of defense.

The White House said in a statement that Brown’s nomination to replace Milley, whose tenure expires in September, will be made at a Rose Garden ceremony.

Brown, the current chief of staff of the United States Air Force, was commissioned as an officer in 1984 and has over 3,000 flight hours, 130 of which were in combat.

He has led a fighter squadron, two fighter wings, and US air forces under Central Command and the Indo-Pacific Command.


Following the 2020 murder of Black man George Floyd in Minnesota by a white police officer, Brown released an impassioned video about his personal experiences, including discrimination in the American military.

“I’m thinking about my Air Force career, where I was often the only African American in my squadron or as a senior officer, the only African American in the room,” Brown said.

“I’m thinking about the pressure I felt to perform error-free, especially for supervisors I perceive had expected less from me as an African American,” he said.

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