President Trump has nominated Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. to lead the Air Force as chief of staff, the Pentagon announced Monday. If confirmed, he would be the military’s first black military service chief.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced in a statement:
Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. has been nominated for appointment to the rank of general, with assignment as chief of staff, U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia. Brown is currently serving as commander, Pacific Air Forces; air component commander for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; and executive director, Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) commended the nomination.
“Congratulations to Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. on his historic nomination to be Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force,” he said in a statement.
“Over the course of his 37-year career, he has completed multiple combat tours across the world, is currently serving as commander of Pacific Air Forces in the INDOPACOM theater, and has accumulated more than 2,900 flight hours,” he said.
Inhofe, a pilot and avid flyer, quipped, “While I have a few thousand more flight hours myself, I look forward to reviewing his nomination and discussing efforts to grow and modernize our Air Force and ensure we are recruiting and retaining pilots to fill our pilot shortage.”
The Wall Street Journal, who first reported the nomination, noted that Brown would be the first black officer to lead any military service branch, and the first senior black Pentagon leader since retired Army Gen. Colin Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993.
Brown would replace current Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, who will retire later this year.
Inhofe also thanked Goldfein for his years of service:
I also want to thank Gen. Goldfein for his dedicated service as the 21st Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. During his tenure, I was honored to work with him on several shared priorities—including privatized housing reform, creation of Space Force and the implementation of the National Defense Strategy. I wish him the best.