Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin is Biden's nominee for Secretary of Defense; he would be the first Black person to lead the Pentagon if confirmed. President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Austin, a four-star general, to lead the Pentagon, according to the Associated Press. Like President Donald Trump's first defense secretary, James Mattis, Austin will require a congressional waiver to serve, as he is a recent military retiree. Federal law requires seven years of retirement from active duty before taking on the position. Ref. USAToday.
Senate confirms Lloyd Austin as the nation's first Black defense secretary, the second nominee of President Biden to pass the chamber. Austin's confirmation process wasn't without bumps. Controversy flared over a law barring recently retired military officers from serving as the defense secretary, but top Democrats lined up behind Austin's nomination, citing the need for Biden to have his national security team in place after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. The law requires that troops be retired for seven years before taking the post. Ref. USAToday.