Lloyd Austin III
Secretary of DefenseUnited States
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Lloyd Austin IIISecretary of Defense
Lloyd James Austin III (born August 8, 1953) is an American retired United States Army four-star general serving as the 28th United States secretary of defense since January 22, 2021. He is the first African American to serve as the United States secretary of defense. Austin previously served as the 12th commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM) from 2013 to 2016. Austin was the 33rd vice chief of staff of the Army from January 2012 to March 2013, and the last commanding general of United States Forces – Iraq Operation New Dawn, which ended in December 2011. In 2013, Austin was appointed as the first black commander of CENTCOM by President Barack Obama. He retired from the armed services in 2016 and 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.