WASHINGTON (AP) - Gen. Lloyd J. Austin, the West Point graduate who rose to the Army’s elite ranks and marched through racial barriers in a 41-year career, has won Senate confirmation to become the nation’s first Black secretary of defense.
Austin was born in Mobile.
The vote gives President Joe Biden his second Cabinet member; Avril Haines was confirmed on Wednesday as the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence.
Biden is expected to win approval for others on his national security team in coming days, including Antony Blinken as secretary of state.
Austin served 41 years in the Army, retiring in 2016.
It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as our country’s 28th Secretary of Defense, and I’m especially proud to be the first African American to hold the position. Let’s get to work. pic.twitter.com/qPAzVRxz9L
— Lloyd Austin (@LloydAustin) January 22, 2021