Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. becomes first Black military service chief in United States history

Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. becomes first Black military service chief in United States history

On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. as the 22nd Air Force chief of staff. This is a historic moment as Brown becomes the first Black military service chief in the United States. He is only the second Black officer to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Donald Trump nominated Brown on March 2, but Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan—best known around these here parts as being suspected in the covering up of sexual assault allegations in Alaska’s National Guard—held up the nomination in a ploy to get the Air Force to base the KC-46 tanker in Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. Last Wednesday, amidst national protests, Sullivan lifted the hold.

A couple of days ago, Commander Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. released a video addressing his thoughts on the nomination and thoughts he has been having as the country grapples with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He illustrated many issues facing African Americans in our country and the personal experiences of himself and his family. In the nine-minute address, Commander Gen. Brown said:

I’m thinking about my historic nomination to be the first African American to serve as the Air Force chief of staff. I’m thinking about the African Americans that went before me to make this opportunity possible. I’m thinking about the immense expectations that come with this historic nomination, particularly through the lens of current events of plaguing our nation. And thinking about how I may have fallen short in my career and will likely continue falling short, living up to all those expectations. I’m thinking about how my nomination provides some hope, but also comes with a heavy burden. I can’t fix centuries of racism in our country, nor can I fix decades of discrimination; it may have impacted members of our Air Force. I’m thinking about how I can make improvements personally, professionally, and institutionally so that all airmen, both today and tomorrow, appreciate the value of diversity and can serve in an environment where they can reach their full potential.
He says he doesn’t have the answers, but he hopes to help move the country in the right direction. 

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