Senate Confirms First Black Air Force Chief of Staff, Historic & Unanimous Vote

June 9, 2020

By: Staff Report

Gen. Charles Q. Brown

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Gen. Charles Q. Brown to be the next Air Force chief of staff. This makes him the first African American leader of a military branch, as the Pentagon and the country struggle with a raft of racial issues.

The confirmation also makes Brown the second African American officer to sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff since Chairman Gen. Colin Powell.

The vote, 98-to-0 was unanimous approval for more than qualified four-star general. Vice President Mike Pence presided over the historic vote.

President Trump tweeted earlier:

“I’m thinking about how full I am with emotion, not just for George Floyd but for the many African Americans that have suffered the same fate as George Floyd,” Brown said. “I’m thinking about a history of racial issues and my own experiences that didn’t always sing of liberty and equality.”

“I’m thinking about how I may have fallen short in my career and will likely continue falling short of all those expectations,” Brown said. “I’m thinking about how my nomination provides some hope but also comes with a heavy burden. I can’t fix centuries of racism in our country, nor can I fix decades of discrimination that may have affected members of our Air Force.”

“I’m thinking about how to make improvements, personally, professionally, and institutionally so that all airmen, both today and tomorrow, appreciate the value of diversity and can serve in an environment where they can reach their full potential,” Brown said.

Brown succeeds Gen. David Goldfein, who will retire later this year. He becomes the second black member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after Army Gen. Colin Powell in 1989 having never served as Army Chief of Staff.

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