On January 21st, Congress approved a waiver for the Biden Administration to allow retired General Lloyd Austin to be a candidate for Defense Secretary. Days after, General Austin was approved as Defense Secretary and head of the Pentagon, becoming the first African American Secretary of Defense. During his confirmation hearings, it was clear that General Austin is a man of integrity and morality.
In his opening statement of his confirmation hearing, General Austin stated that there must be “competent civilian control of our armed forces” and “the subordination of military power to the civil”. He also told the Senate that he will surround himself with “capable” civilian leaders. 2General Austin clearly presents that he will maintain the military with clear oversight to make sure that military leaders will not overstep their boundaries. This cause was furthered emphasized by General Lloyd as he stated “the Pentagon will respect their [Congress’s] oversight committees” and “be transparent”.
General Austin also gave comments about the regulation of military personnel. In a powerful message, General Austin told Congress that they owe “their people a working environment free of discrimination, hate, and harassment”. He went further on this idea exclaiming that he will rid the military of “sexual assault… racists and extremists”.
General Austin’s candidacy was driven by Biden’s quest for a return to normalcy, where America can be safe and fair for all. General Austin came as a citizen, not a soldier, to Congress, highlighting his goals to improve our military. We wish him luck for his term as Secretary of Defense as he makes history for all Americans.