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Biden to make ‘historic’ pick for new Joint Chiefs chairman: Reports

Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. (U.S. Air Force photo by Trey Ward)
May 11, 2023

President Joe Biden is expected to nominate Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown Jr. as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to reports from The New York Times and The Washington Post. Brown, a seasoned officer and fighter pilot, currently serves as chief of staff of the Air Force.

If confirmed, Brown would succeed Gen. Mark Milley, whose chairmanship expires at the end of September. Brown’s nomination is widely considered historic as it would mark the first time that the top two leadership positions at the Pentagon would be held by black men.

Brown has had a distinguished career in the Air Force, and has previously served as commander of the Air Forces Central Command and as the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command.

As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Brown would advise the president and the secretary of defense on military strategy and operations. He would also represent the military in the National Security Council and other high-level meetings.

If confirmed, Brown would bring extensive experience and leadership to the position, having served in a wide range of roles throughout his career. His nomination is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate, but given his distinguished record, he is expected to be confirmed with bipartisan support.

Last year, Brown warned there is “potential to lose” to China if the United States military doesn’t change its focus from the Middle East to the Indo-Pacific.

During an appearance on CNN, Brown said he was directing the U.S. Air Force to focus on “long-term” challenges outside the Middle East, particularly those that he believes can happen “very insidiously.”

“You think about what’s happened for the United States and the United States military. We’ve been focused in the Middle East for some say the past 20 years, but for the United States Air Force, I’d say over 30 years, going back to Desert Storm. Because of that, we’ve really got to start changing our focus to what is our long-term challenge,” Brown said when asked about China’s apparently increasing strength and dominance.