Austin Wins Senate Confirmation as 1st Black Pentagon Chief
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lloyd J. Austin, the West Point graduate who rose to the Army’s elite ranks and marched through racial barriers in a 41-year career, has won Senate confirmation to become the nation’s first Black secretary of defense.
The vote gives President Joe Biden his second Cabinet member; Avril Haines was confirmed Wednesday as the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence.
Austin arrived Friday afternoon at the Pentagon, where he didn’t stop to answer reporters’ questions but said he looks forward to dealing with the press.
Shortly after the vote, he said on Twitter that he is especially proud to be the first Black secretary of defense, writing, “Let’s get to work.”