President Joe Biden has chosen Gen Charles “CQ” Brown Jr. to serve as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking military officer in the United States. Gen Brown, who currently serves as the Air Force chief of staff, will succeed Gen Mark Milley when his term concludes in September.
If confirmed, Gen Brown will become the second African American officer to hold this prestigious position in US history, following in the footsteps of General Colin Powell, who served from 1989 to 1993. This historic appointment coincides with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s tenure, making it the first time that two African American men would simultaneously hold the highest civilian and military positions at the Pentagon.
During a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House, President Biden referred to Gen Brown as a “warrior” who hails from a proud lineage of warriors. Praising his experience and composure in challenging situations, Biden emphasized Gen Brown’s reputation as a trusted partner and a strategic thinker who has earned the respect of allies and partners worldwide.
The President also expressed his gratitude to Gen Milley for his leadership during a period of complex global security challenges. Gen Brown, in his current role as Air Force chief of staff, oversees the training and equipping of nearly 700,000 military personnel both within the US and abroad.
Before assuming his current position, Gen Brown made history as the first African American to serve in his role after being selected in June 2020. Previously, he commanded the Paciﬁc Air Forces for the US Indo-Pacific Command. With over 3,000 flying hours and 130 combat hours as a command pilot, he brings extensive military experience to his new role.
The White House highlighted Gen Brown’s significant contributions to military aid in Ukraine and his expertise in navigating US-China relations. In 2020, following the murder of George Floyd by a police officer, Gen Brown released a poignant video in which he discussed his own experiences as a black man in America, underscoring the challenges he faced in striving for excellence in the military.
Gen Milley will continue his term for the next four months, as is customary, to ensure a smooth transition. However, Gen Brown’s confirmation may face obstacles. Over 200 senior military appointments are currently held up in the US Senate due to a dispute over a Pentagon policy related to abortion. Senator Tommy Tuberville has been blocking confirmations, drawing criticism from fellow Republicans who warn that this obstruction could jeopardize military readiness.
The nomination of Gen Charles “CQ” Brown Jr. as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff represents a significant moment in US military history and signals a commitment to diversity and inclusion within the nation’s top defense leadership.