General Lloyd Austin makes history as America’s first Black Defence Secretary

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General Lloyd Austin makes history as America’s first Black Defence Secretary

WASHINGTON: The former Army general Lloyd Austin made history when he was confirmed by the US Senate as America's first Black defense secretary.

The development came a day after Congress handed over Austin a special waiver to hold the post, which is required for any defence secretary who has been out of active-duty military service for less than seven years. The Senate vote was 93 to 2.

The 67-year-old is the only African-American to have led US Central Command, the military’s marquee combat command, with responsibility for Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria.

He retired in 2016 after 41 years in the military and is widely respected across the Army.

“It’s an extraordinary, historic moment,” Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island and the chairman of the Armed Services Committee told *The New YorkTimes. link*