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General Charles ‘CQ’ Brown will replace Mark Milley as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

President Biden will nominate General Charles “CQ” Brown Jr. to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, senior administration officials announced Wednesday, revealing the selection of a highly experienced officer for the post on higher in the army in uniform.

Brown served as Air Force Chief of Staff since June 2020. His appointment had been awaited for weeks.

Biden is due to announce his selection Thursday at a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden, said a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the president’s expected remarks.

If confirmed by the Senate, Brown will replace Gen. Mark A. Milley, an army officer whose tenure spanned many crises, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the chaotic and deadly evacuation of Afghanistan, and the assault on the US Capitol. By law, the outspoken Milley must leave the post by the end of September.

Biden views Brown as an experienced hand who understands the strategic challenges facing the United States around the world and also ably represents American military personnel and their families, the administration official said. Brown has commanded at every possible level in the Air Force and joint units, helped build and lead the air campaign against the Islamic State militant group and is ‘deeply versed’ in the challenges that China poses to the world, the official said.

The next president’s portfolio will include regular exchanges with Ukraine’s military leaders, continuing efforts to counter China’s military expansion and tackling the country’s toxic politics while trying to maintain the nonpartisan tradition of army. American confidence in the military has plummeted in recent years, according to several surveys, raising fears that an organization that once enjoyed major support among American citizens has entered a new era.

If Brown is confirmed, it will be the first time that the Pentagon’s two most senior positions will be filled by African Americans, with Brown joining Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in major roles. In the past four years, Brown was the first black officer to lead a branch of service and would be the second African American to serve as the Pentagon’s top military officer, following the tenure of Gen. Colin Powell, who rose to the position in 1989.


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