Following his appointment by President Donald Trump, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed the first-ever black chief of a military branch this week.
According to the Washington Examiner, Gen. Charles Brown Jr. was promoted to the position of U.S. Air Force chief of staff on Tuesday following the vote on Capitol Hill.
“Historic day for America”
Trump heralded the development shortly after the vote in a tweet calling it a “historic day for America” and expressing excitement at the prospect of working “even more closely” with Brown.
“My decision to appoint [Air Force] General Charles Brown as the USA’s first-ever African American military service chief has now been approved by the Senate,” he tweeted.
Trump nominated Brown to the post in March as a replacement for the retiring Gen. David Goldfein. Brown will become the first black member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since then-Army Gen. Colin Powell, according to Military.com.
An F-16 pilot in the Air Force, Brown logged nearly 3,000 flight hours — including 130 hours during combat missions, according to the Examiner. He most recently served as commander of the Pacific Air Forces and has also been the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees missions in the Middle East.
“Not just for George Floyd”
Brown’s historic confirmation comes amid widespread social unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death allegedly at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer charged with his murder.
“I’m thinking about how full I am with emotion, not just for George Floyd, but the many African Americans that have suffered the same fate as George Floyd,” Brown said in a statement chronicling some of the racial discrimination he has experienced throughout his service career, as the Examiner reported.
He went on: “I’m thinking about wearing the same flight suit, with the same wings on my chest as my peers, and then being questioned by another military member: ‘Are you a pilot?'”
Obviously, the nomination and confirmation mark a moment in history that should be remembered for its cultural significance. More importantly, though, anyone placed in this position of power must be up to the task.
All the evidence seems to show that the general is ready to take the reins of the Air Force after receiving Trump’s nod of approval.