On Friday, the US Senate approved the appointment of retired General Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense.
Austin won broad support from Democrats and Republicans alike, who voted 93 to 2.
The retired general became the first African-American to hold the post of Defense Secretary.
He chose US President Joe Biden, this former officer whom he knows well since he was vice president in Barack Obama’s administration.
Austin, a West Point graduate, served four decades in the military, and was commander of US forces in Iraq and then head of Central Command from 2010 to 2016.
The US President described Austin as “uniquely qualified to meet the challenges and crises we face at the moment” when announcing the nomination in December.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be the 28th Secretary of Defense for our country, and I am particularly proud to be the first African American to hold the position,” Austin wrote, tweeting after obtaining Senate approval. “Come on to work!”
During his appointment session, Tuesday, he pledged to confront extremists in the armed forces, after some members of the military participated in the January 6 attack on the Congress building by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
“The movement that we have seen recently in relation to possible racism or extremist behavior within our ranks is, in my view, totally unacceptable,” Austin said.
“The mission of the Ministry of Defense is to keep America safe from our enemies. But we cannot do that if some of these enemies are within our ranks,” he added.