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President Trump Nominates First African American Air Force Chief

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images

Marlo Safi Contributor
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President Donald Trump nominated the first African American Air Force chief of staff, the highest ranking uniformed position.

Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. is a veteran combat pilot and longtime officer currently the head of U.S. Pacific Air Forces. Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced his nomination on Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Brown is an F-16 pilot who has served in Asia and the Middle East and has been an Air Force officer since 1984. He has flown nearly 3,000 hours, including combat missions, the Wall Street Journal reports. Prior to leading the Pacific Air Forces, he was the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command. (RELATED: Trump Nominates First Black Woman To Serve As Marine Brigadier General)

“I am truly honored and humbled by the nomination to serve as the Air Force’s 22nd chief of staff,” Brown said in an Air Force news release. “If confirmed, Sharene and I look forward to building upon the legacy of Gen. Dave and Dawn Goldfein and the many airpower giants before who have served our Air Force and our nation with such dedication.”

If confirmed, Brown would be the first African American to lead any military service branch, and the first senior African American Pentagon leader to sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staffs since Colin Powell, who was chairman from 1989 to 1993. 

Brown requires a confirmation by the Senate and would replace Gen. David Goldfein, who is expected to retire later this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.