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Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin would be the first Black Pentagon chief

By Seung Min Kim, Annie Linskey, Dan Lamothe and John Hudson

WILMINGTON, Del. — Biden plans to tap retired Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III to be secretary of defense, according to three officials familiar with the decision. If confirmed, Austin would be the first Black Pentagon chief.

Austin, 67, rose to become a four-star general in the Army and retired in 2016 as the chief of U.S. Central Command, a role from which he oversaw U.S. military operations across the Middle East for three years. His tenure there included overseeing the U.S.-led military intervention to stop the rise of the Islamic State, which began seizing cities in Iraq in 2014.


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