Lloyd Austin Becomes First African American Secretary of Defence

Austin reportedly received 93 votes in the Senate, with only two votes going against him.

1 min read
File photo of Lloyd Austin.

Retired Army General Lloyd Austin will serve as the United States (US) Secretary of Defence, reported Reuters, after the US Senate confirmed his appointment.

Nominated by the newly-inaugurated United States President Joe Biden; Austin, according to Reuters, will be the first African American to serve as the Secretary of Defence.   

According to IANS, Austin received 93 votes in the Senate, with only two votes going against him.

Previously, Biden’s pick Avril Haines, reportedly, became the first woman to be Director of National Intelligence.

According to IANS, the Congress on Thursday approved a waiver to allow Austin to take the job. Under the US law, military officers need a seven-year period after their retirement before they can become the Secretary of Defence. However, Austin had only retired in 2016.

The same waiver had also been given to President Trump’s first Secretary of Defence, Lt Gen James Mattis (retd), according to IANS.


Lloyd Austin graduated from West Point Military Academy and spent four decades in the army - leading platoons, running logistics groups, overseeing recruiting and moving on to do senior Pentagon jobs, NDTV reported.

He has a history of leading conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2003, he was the assistant division commander of the 3rd Infantry Division marching from Kuwait to Baghdad, during the US invasion of Iraq.

(With inputs of Reuters and IANS.)

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