Lloyd Austin III
Secretary of Defense
Lloyd James Austin III (born August 8, 1953) is a retired United States Army four-star general who is serving as the 28th United States secretary of defense since January 22, 2021. Before retiring from the military in 2016, Austin served as the 12th commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM), beginning in March 2013. Prior to that he served as the 33rd vice chief of staff of the Army from January 2012 to March 2013, and as commander of United States Forces – Iraq from September 2010 to December 2011. He was the first African American to hold each of these positions. After retiring from the armed services Austin joined the boards of Raytheon Technologies, Nucor, Tenet Healthcare, and Auburn University. On December 7, 2020, he was nominated for defense secretary by then-President-elect Joe Biden. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 22, 2021, by a vote of 93–2.Austin holds the unique distinction of having commanded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan at the one-, two-, three- and four-star levels, and was the first African American to command a division, corps, and field army in combat. He is a recipient of the Silver Star, the nation's third highest award for valor, for his actions during the Iraq invasion, as well as five Defense Distinguished Service Medals.
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