President Joe Biden plans to nominate Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles “C.Q.” Brown to become the U.S. highest-ranking military officer and adviser to the president, a senior administration official has confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
As the Air Force’s top military leader, Brown has focused on modernizing U.S. airpower and boasts a stint as commander of U.S. Air Forces in the Pacific, demonstrating his value in furthering the Biden administration’s pledge to bolster Pacific defenses and stave off a potential conflict with China, the official told the DCNF. Brown was previously considered the frontrunner to receive the president’s nomination as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ousting main competitor Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger.
In a statement, the official lauded current chairman Gen. Mark Milley’s service, calling him a “close and trusted advisor to President Biden” over the past two years. With Milley slated to retire at the end of the fiscal year in September, Biden “prioritized finding a successor who can carry on that work and provide strong, steady leadership and wise counsel,” the official said.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recommended Brown to the president, according to the official.
Biden will formally announce his pick at a Rose Garden event Thursday afternoon, according to The Associated Press. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: US Air Force Ran A Social Experiment To Graduate More Minority Pilots. It Didn’t Go As Planned)
“In General Brown, the President knows he will likewise benefit from a wealth of military experience, shaped in both peacetime and war – a leader who understands the strategic challenges the United States faces around the world, but who also will ably represent the men and women of our armed forces, as well as their families,” the official said.
Happy #ArmedForcesDay to our #Airmen & all our Nation’s military forces—I am incredibly proud to serve alongside you. When I think back on the last 38 years—I pinch myself. I am honored & humbled to wear the uniform & grateful for the experiences it has afforded me & my family. https://t.co/znEGVJ8Np4
— General CQ Brown, Jr. (@GenCQBrownJr) May 20, 2023
The Air Force general has staunchly supported the Biden administration’s ongoing military aid to Ukraine and understands NATO allies and perspectives, the official said. As chairman, Brown will have to balance priorities in Europe with the tense security environment in the Pacific as well as a recruiting crisis and Republican scrutiny over the Pentagon’s alleged politically leftward trend.
Brown is the first black officer to head any military branch and would become the second black chairman if confirmed. He made headlines shortly before being confirmed to his present role and in the midst of nationwide rioting and protests following George Floyd’s murder in 202o.
“I’m thinking about my Air Force career, where I was often the only African American in my squadron, or as a senior officer the only African American in the room,” Brown said in a video.
“Just as critically, General Brown is known for his integrity, his wisdom and his candor. As our nation’s first Black service chief, he has been an important voice helping make our armed forces more inclusive,” the administration official told the DCNF.
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