President Joe Biden will appoint Air Force Gen. CQ Brown Jr. to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be replaced by Army Gen. Mark Milley, who will retire in October, a senior US official confirmed to Fox News.
The president plans to unveil Brown, a history-making fighter pilot, as his nominee during a Rose Garden event Thursday afternoon.
Brown, 60, is widely considered the front-runner to replace Milley, especially as the Pentagon shifts military capabilities away from land wars in the past to address growing cyber, space, nuclear and hypersonic warfare. threats to China.
According to a senior administration official, Biden sees Brown as the right person to be the nation’s next top military officer because of how he has modernized U.S. airpower for a potential fight with 21st century, including updating the US fleet and strengthening its nuclear arsenal.
WHO IS THE AIR FORCE GEN. CHARLES Q. BROWN JR, POSSIBLE REPLACEMENT OF GEN. MILLEY AS JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF CHAIR?
Brown, a career F-16 fighter pilot with more than 3,000 flight hours, has commanded all possible levels of the Air Force and the joint commands, including in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
He served as commander of the Pacific Air Forces, where he opposed China in the Indo-Pacific.
Brown is also heavily involved in the Pentagon’s efforts in Ukraine, as he oversees the billions of dollars in US financial and military aid provided to the country.
Previously, he helped lead the US air campaign against the Islamic State militant group.
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Brown also broke many barriers in his career, as he became the first chief of staff of the Black Air Force, the service’s top military officer, three years ago. The appointment also made him the first African American to head any branch of the military.
He was first commissioned in 1984 after graduating from the ROTC program at Texas Tech University with a degree in civil engineering.
Brown’s confirmation is uncertain, however, because Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., the new military nominations.
He opposes the Pentagon’s policy of allowing funds to be used for military personnel seeking abortions if they are based in states where the surgery is illegal.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is the highest official in the country and serves as a senior military advisor to the president, defense secretary and the National Security Council.
The chairman does not command the troops but plays a critical role in all major military issues, making policy decisions and advising on major combat operations.
The position also heads all the joint chiefs who head the various armed services.
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If Brown is confirmed by the Senate, both of the Pentagon’s top military and civilian positions will be held by African Americans for the first time. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the first Black Pentagon chief, was confirmed in January 2021.
Army Gen. Colin Powell is the only other Black person to serve as Joint Chiefs chairman.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.