Biden considering Mobile native for defense secretary


(WKRG) — President-Elect Joe Biden is reportedly considering Mobile native and retired four-star general Lloyd J. Austin III for Secretary of Defense.

If confirmed by the Senate, Austin, 67, would be the first Black American to fill that position.

A 2014 New York Times profile of Austin describes the Mobile native as an “invisible general.”

“He shuns the limelight, largely avoids engaging in politics and seldom speaks to the press, often declining interviews. In an age when many generals tweet and blog, he most certainly does not.  That seems to have helped his career,” the New York Times wrote.

“General Austin’s character and competence exemplify what America demands of its military leaders,” Obama said in a 2016 profile of Austin in

According to CNN, Austin, who led Central Command during the Obama era, would need a congressional waiver to be confirmed for the civilian post because he retired from active-duty service only four years ago.

Here is an excerpt of Austin’s biography from his consulting firm’s website:

General Austin is a retired four-star general who served for 41 years in the U.S. Army. From March 2013 through March 2016, General Austin served as the Commander of U.S. Central Command responsible for military strategy and joint operations throughout the 20-country Central Region that includes Iraq, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Prior to that, he served as the 33rd Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from January 2012 to March 2013 and as the Combined Forces Commander in Iraq from September 2010 through 2011. He is the recipient of numerous U.S. military awards, including the Silver Star, five Defense Distinguished Service Medals and the Legion of Merit. Currently, General Austin serves on the Board of Directors of four publicly-traded companies: Tenet Healthcare, United Technologies and Nucor Corporation. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and holds master’s degrees from Auburn University (Education) and Webster University (Business Management).
For the past two years, General Austin has served as West Point’s Class of 1951 Leadership Chair for the Study of Leadership. 
General Austin on leadership: “take care of your people and they will refuse to let you fail.”

Austin Strategy Group

Austin was born in Mobile on Aug. 8, 1953.

Biden is also considering veteran Pentagon official Michèle Flournoy and former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.


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