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Historic Appointment: President Biden Nominates Air Force General as Future Chairman of the Joint Chiefs

by Sophia Chen
5 comments
Biden's Nomination of Air Force General CQ Brown

President Joe Biden is set to announce on Thursday his decision to nominate Air Force General CQ Brown Jr., a trailblazing fighter pilot with extensive expertise on China, for the role of the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman.

Upon confirmation, Brown’s appointment would mark a historic moment as both the leading military and civilian roles at the Pentagon would be occupied by African Americans for the first time ever. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the inaugural Black Pentagon chief, has served since the inception of the administration. The only other African American to have held the position of Joint Chiefs chairman was Army General Colin Powell.

The nomination of Brown has been much anticipated. Once confirmed by the Senate, Brown will take over from Army General Mark Milley, whose term concludes in October, as the country’s leading military officer. Biden plans to formally introduce Brown as his nominee during a Rose Garden ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

Brown, due to his extensive work in modernizing the U.S. aircraft fleet and nuclear weapons and his experience in fortifying U.S. defenses against China’s growth, was seen by Biden as the ideal candidate for the role, according to a senior administration official. Brown has been actively involved in the Pentagon’s mission to supply Ukraine with U.S. weapons worth billions of dollars as it strives to resist Russia’s ongoing 15-month invasion.

Sixty-year-old Brown has served in leadership roles at all levels within the Air Force and joint commands, spanning Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. He also played a key role in constructing and leading the U.S. air campaign against the Islamic State.

Throughout his career, Brown has been a pioneering F-16 fighter pilot, boasting more than 3,000 flight hours and command experience at all levels. He made history by becoming the first Black commander of the Pacific Air Forces, where he steered the nation’s air strategy to counter China’s military growth in the Indo-Pacific region.

Three years prior, Brown was appointed the first Black Air Force chief of staff, the top military officer in the service, thereby making him the first African American to lead any military branch.

For the past year, Brown has been widely regarded as the leading candidate to succeed Milley, given the Pentagon’s transition from gearing up for past significant land wars to preventing potential future conflicts with Beijing.

The success of this strategy could largely depend on the military’s ability to quickly adapt to China’s advancements in cyberwarfare, space, nuclear weapons, and hypersonics – all domains in which Brown has shown intense interest in his role as the Air Force’s top military leader, in his efforts to modernize U.S. airpower for 21st-century combat.

However, Brown’s confirmation could face delays. Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville has been obstructing military nominations due to his objections over the Pentagon’s policy of providing travel funds and support for troops and their dependents seeking a variety of reproductive health care services, including abortions, in states where these are currently prohibited.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the highest-ranking officer in the nation, acts as the principal military advisor to the president, the defense secretary, and the National Security Council. While the chairman does not command any troops and is not officially part of the chain of command, the role is critical in shaping major military issues, from policy decisions to advice on significant combat operations, and in leading meetings with the joint chiefs who head the different armed services.

As Air Force chief, Brown has been instrumental in pushing for the modernization of U.S. nuclear capabilities, including the upcoming next-generation stealth bomber, and has spearheaded the drive to retire aging aircraft to free up resources for new unmanned systems. He has also backed the establishment of the U.S. Space Force, which has incorporated many of its initial personnel and capabilities from the Air Force.

Aamer Madhani, a writer for Big Big News, contributed to this report.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Biden’s Nomination of Air Force General CQ Brown

Who has President Biden nominated to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

President Biden has nominated Air Force General CQ Brown Jr. to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Who is Air Force General CQ Brown Jr.?

Air Force General CQ Brown Jr. is a trailblazing fighter pilot with an extensive understanding of China. He has held command positions at every level in the Air Force and in joint commands, including in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. He also has over 3,000 flight hours as an F-16 fighter pilot.

What does the confirmation of Brown mean for the Pentagon?

Upon confirmation, Brown’s appointment would signify a historic moment, with both the leading military and civilian roles at the Pentagon being occupied by African Americans for the first time.

Who currently holds the position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

As of now, the position is held by Army General Mark Milley, whose term concludes in October.

What are the responsibilities of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs?

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is the highest-ranking officer in the nation and acts as the principal military advisor to the president, the defense secretary, and the National Security Council. The chairman plays a critical role in shaping major military issues, from policy decisions to advice on significant combat operations, and leads meetings with the joint chiefs who head the different armed services.

What significant roles has Brown played in his military career?

Brown has been instrumental in modernizing the U.S. aircraft fleet and nuclear arsenal. He was also the first Black commander of the Pacific Air Forces, where he led the nation’s air strategy against China’s military growth. Additionally, he became the first Black Air Force chief of staff, making him the first African American to lead any military branch.

Why could Brown’s confirmation be delayed?

Brown’s confirmation could face delays due to objections from Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville, who has been blocking military nominations over disagreements with the Pentagon’s policy of providing support for troops and their dependents seeking various reproductive health care services, including abortions, in states where these are currently prohibited.

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5 comments

StarGazer22 July 22, 2023 - 12:40 am

Wow, Brown’s got over 3k flight hours under his belt. And he’s been involved in joint commands all over the globe! Just the kind of experience we need leading our military in these times…

Reply
AirPowerMike July 22, 2023 - 1:03 am

Brown’s got a solid track record with all his experience, especially with China. if confirmed, I think he’s gonna do a great job as the next Chairman. It’s a massive responsibility though.

Reply
JennyF86 July 22, 2023 - 8:57 am

Whoa! Thats big news. It’s about time we had more diversity in top leadership roles at the pentagon. This seems like a good step forward!

Reply
FreedomEagle101 July 22, 2023 - 2:43 pm

Hold on, this Tuberville guy’s holding up military nominations over abortions?! what’s that got to do with military leadership, man? sounds like political nonsense to me.

Reply
TommyG July 22, 2023 - 3:34 pm

not sure how i feel bout this…I mean Brown seems alright but, well, I’ve always been a fan of Milley. i guess we’ll have to wait n see…

Reply

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