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  • Melinda Murphy

First African American named Air Force Chief of Staff

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed Gen. Charles "CQ" Brown Jr. as the next Air Force chief of staff – marking the first time an African-American officer has served as chief of staff of a military service.

Brown, the current commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, was confirmed 98-0 in a Senate vote presided over by Vice President Mike Pence. He was nominated to be the 22nd Air Force chief of staff by President Trump in March.

Brown has a long and distinguished career in the Air Force, with 2,900 flying hours, including 130 combat hours, primarily in F-16 Fighting Falcons. He also commanded a fighter squadron and two fighter wings, and served as the deputy commander for U.S. Central Command.

“The United States Air Force will be well served by the formidable talents of CQ Brown,” Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett said following his nomination in March. “He has unmatched strategic vision and operational expertise. His leadership will be instrumental as the service continues to focus on the capabilities and talent we need to implement the National Defense Strategy.”

Trump also weighed in on Brown’s confirmation Tuesday, calling it “a historic day” and praising Brown as “a Patriot and Great Leader.”

“My decision to appoint @usairforce General Charles Brown as the USA’s first-ever African American military service chief has now been approved by the Senate,” Trump tweeted. “A historic day for America! Excited to work even more closely with Gen. Brown, who is a Patriot and Great Leader!”

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