Biden selects historic general as next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

General “CQ” Brown was named Thursday by President Joe Biden as the next chairman of the United States’ highest-ranking military officer, the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

At a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden, Mr Biden said it was an honor to nominate Charles Quinton Brown Jr to replace General Mark Milley.

“General Brown is a warrior and descended from a proud family of warriors,” Biden said.

Biden added, “General Brown was a proud and brave United States Air Force man, but first and foremost, he was also the operational leader of the Joint Forces.” “Throughout all his service, he earned the respect of those who saw his accomplishments and came to rely on his judgment.”

If confirmed, Brown would become the second black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after General Colin Powell, in 30 years. For the first time in history, the top two leaders at the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be black men.

Brown, an F-16 fighter pilot in the Air Force, earned an engineering degree in 1984 and became an officer before being promoted to general in 2009. He has held senior leadership roles in the Middle East since 2015 and was promoted to senior leadership position in 2018. American presence in the skies of the Indo-Pacific, under the command of the Pacific Air Force.

After being nominated by then-President Donald Trump in 2020, the Senate confirmed Brown 98-0 as Air Force Chief of Staff.

That same year, Brown made headlines after speaking out about racism in the military following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

“When I think about not only George Floyd, but the many African Americans who suffered the same fate as George Floyd, I think about how emotionally charged I am,” he said in a very personal statement. said in a video message. “I think about the history of racial issues and my own experiences that didn’t necessarily advocate liberty and equality.”

His nomination Thursday marked the third anniversary of Floyd’s death.

Biden underscored Brown’s message, saying he could trust Brown as a “thoughtful and thoughtful leader who isn’t afraid to speak his mind.”

“General Brown was the leader and leader all Americans met three years ago when he gave an unflinching video testimony sharing his experiences of racism and his deep love for our country,” Biden said. I’ve devoted my entire adult life,” Biden said. “It had a real backbone and resonated not just with military personnel, but with Americans across the country.”

Former congressman and Air Force secretary Heather Wilson, who worked with Brown, told ABC News that he was “really proud” that Brown posted the message three years ago.

“He understood what airmen needed to hear from him, and as a leader he was in a unique position to stand up and say so,” she said.

As Biden’s uniformed senior adviser, Brown will be asked to counter the growing military presence of China, which once led U.S. airmen in the Indo-Pacific.

Mr. Wilson said his experiences in the region were a perfect fit for him.

“Right now, there is no more important enemy, or potential enemy, than China,” she said. “And he has that experience. I think he’s starting to build relationships with our allies as well as understanding the strategic situation in the Pacific. And one of the advantages of the United States is that we have allies. China generally doesn’t.The neighbors are afraid of them.”

Millie, whose term expires in September, praised Brown just hours before Thursday’s ceremony, calling Brown a “great man with all the knowledge, skills and qualities to get the job done.” called an officer.

“And he’s got the right demeanor and obviously a great chemistry with the president. [secretary of Defense] “CQ is really great and we look forward to a quick confirmation,” Millie continued.

Austin said on Thursday that Mr Brown was “an incredibly capable and professional officer, and what he brings to every table is his professionalism and deep experience in war, which I am personally proud of.” I know about it,” he said.

“You can only aim to be visible,” Brown, who attended ABC’s “GMA3” in February last year, told ABC News. I hope we can inspire young people to pave the way, not just the military.” , but really, to be in such a great position all over the country. ”

Brown’s “style is different,” said Wilson. “But that’s fine… different secretaries of defense and different presidents need different things.”

“One of the things that CQ is good at is listening. In this town, there are far more people who want to talk than to listen, and there are more people who listen to understand the problem and judge it holistically.” said Mr Wilson. “He can ask good questions and clarify what the big issues are.”

But things will be complicated by the blocking of the military nomination by Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville. He has detained all military commanders with two stars or higher for several months in opposition to Pentagon policy. Grant paid vacation and paid travel to some military personnel who wish to have an abortion in states that currently prohibit abortion.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer may go through the hassle of going through the Tuberville and force a vote on Mr Brown’s nomination on the Senate floor, but it’s a generally unanimous vote for a final Senate vote. It would break the status quo of military nominations that are gaining support.

ABC News’ Ben Gittleson, Alison Pecorin and Matthew Thaler contributed to this report.

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