Austin is 67 years old and has the rank of a four-star General. If approved, he will become the first African-American to lead the Defense Department. He served in Germany and many locations in the United States, served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, commanded a division, and by 2006 was promoted to Lieutenant General.
In 2010, Austin became the commander of US forces in Iraq and was responsible for the gradual withdrawal of troops from that country. In December 2011, he was appointed Deputy Commander of the army staff, and in 2013-2016, he headed the Central Command of the US armed forces. In this capacity, Austin played a key role in developing the US strategy in the fight against the Islamic state.
After retiring in 2016, he took a position on the Board of Directors of the largest weapons manufacturer, Raytheon.