Retired General Austin became the first African-American in the history of the United States to head the Pentagon.
On Friday morning, senators confirmed retired General Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense. Austin became the second senator-approved candidate for the cabinet of new President Joe Biden and the first African-American in history to lead the United States Defense Department.
Austin, who previously commanded US forces in the Middle East and South Asia, has won overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans, despite requiring special congressional approval. The House of Representatives and the Senate voted to make an exception for Austin to the rule that former military personnel cannot hold civilian positions earlier than seven years after leaving the armed forces.
90 out of 100 senators voted in favor of Austin’s confirmation, while only two members of the Senate voted against it, according to Reuters.
At his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Lloyd Austin warned senators about the Kremlin’s hostile actions, saying that while Russia is a power “in decline,” it can still cause “great damage” in cyberspace.