US Senate confirms new Pentagon chief

The United State Senate, voting 93-2, has confirmed the appointment of new US Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on January 22.

Austin graduated from US Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. in 1975. He retired from military service as commander of U.S. Central Command in 2016.

“The Senate and the House of Representatives waived the requirement that a defense secretary must have been retired seven years before assuming the position.¬†Austin assured congressional leaders that he fully believes in civilian control of the U.S. military,” the Pentagon said.

“I was a general and a soldier, and I’m proud of that,” Austin said during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “But today, I appear before you as a citizen, the son of a postal worker and a homemaker from Thomasville, Georgia, and I’m proud of that, too. If you confirm me, I am prepared to serve now as a civilian, fully acknowledging the importance of this distinction.”