The United States Senate has confirmed former army general, Lloyd Austin as defence Secretary, making him the first African American to hold the top Pentagon position.
Lloyd Austin, a recently retired army general, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee on January 19 for screening.
Austin gained broad support from Republicans and Democrats alike in the Senate, winning confirmation by a 93-2 vote.
“General Austin is an exceptionally qualified leader with a long and distinguished career in the United States military,” said Senator Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee.
Austin will take charge of the US Department of Defense “at a time when US strategic priorities have shifted to focus increasingly on near-peer competition with China and Russia”, Reed said.
Austin retired in 2016, fewer than five years ago, triggering the need for a congressional waiver to serve in that post.
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