Page 9 - Florida Sentinel 12-11-20
P. 9

   Former MacDill Central Command General Tapped As Biden’s Secretary Of Defense
 If confirmed, the re- tired general would be- come the first Black Secretary of Defense.
BY GWEN HAYES Sentinel Editor
President-elect Joe
Biden has selected Retired
Gen. Lloyd Austin to serve
as secretary of defense.
Biden has chosen a barrier-
breaking former four-star of-
ficer who was the first Black
GEN. LLOYD AUSTIN ...Tapped as President-Elect Biden’s Secretary of Defense
He was also the first Black vice chief of staff of the Army, the service’s second ranking officer.
In 2013, President Barack Obama named him to run Central Command, re- sponsible for all U. S. military
SGT. JAMES JOHNSON ...Proud of the nomination of General Austin
operations in the Middle East, where he oversaw operations against the Islamic State when it took over large swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014.
He retired after 41 years in 2016 and joined the board of directors of Raytheon Tech-
nologies, one of the largest Pentagon contractors. He is also on the board of Nucor, the largest American steel producer, as well as health care company Tenet. He is a trustee of the Carnegie Corpo- ration of New York, a philan- thropic foundation.
Public records show that he has his own consulting firm, Austin Strategy Group, LLC, in Great Falls, VA.
A Local Connection
When U. S. Army Re- serves Sergeant James Johnson, NCOIC, 119th Chaplain Detachment, heard of the nomination of Gen. Austin, he and some of his Army buddies immediately took to social media, texting and sharing info about how
proud they felt to hear the news and what a proudful moment it was. A few of them had worked with him.
“This is a really big deal. Gen- eral Austin was the first Black at MacDill (in Central Command) and he brought a lot of pride among the Black soldiers,” Johnson said. “I vividly recall what a good leader he was. Once I went on the base to get some uniform items and the shelves were bare,” he explained. “After in- quiring about why the shelves were empty, the clerk said the General had told the soldiers that if they are going to work as soldiers, they are going to have to dress like soldiers – that showed the kind of leader he was, and the respect hed commanded.”
    General to command an Army
division in combat and the
State Representative
first to oversee an entire the- ater of operations.
Gen. Austin, a native of Alabama, also ran the U. S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base before retiring in 2016.

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