The nomination of Gen. Charles Q. “CQ” Brown, Jr., was announced by Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper.
Currently, Gen. Brown is commander, Pacific Air Forces; air component commander for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; and executive director, Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Gen. Brown would replace Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff since July 2016, who is expected to retire this year.
If confirmed, Brown would be the highest-ranking African American in the Armed Services since Gen. Colin Powell led the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In 2018, President Trump nominated U.S. Marine Corps. Col. Lorna M. Mahlock be promoted to the rank of brigadier general, a first for a black woman. Prior, she was deputy director of operations, plans, policies, and operations directorate at the Marine Corps’ headquarters and previously served in Okinawa, Japan as a commanding officer in charge of 1,300 troops and civil personnel.
— PACAF (@PACAF) March 2, 2020
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) congratulated General Brown, in a statement.
“Congratulations to Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. on his historic nomination to be Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. Over the course of his 37-year career, he has completed multiple combat tours across the world, is currently serving as commander of Pacific Air Forces in the INDOPACOM theater, and has accumulated more than 2,900 flight hours.”
A pilot himself, Inhofe said: “While I have a few thousand more flight hours myself, I look forward to reviewing his nomination and discussing efforts to grow and modernize our Air Force and ensure we are recruiting and retaining pilots to fill our pilot shortage.”
Many USAF veterans applauded the nomination:
As an Air Force Veteran, I could not be more prouder of @realDonaldTrump on his nomination of the qualified Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. as the first Black American USAF Chief of Staff and first Black CoS to lead any military service branch. https://t.co/hjkPaKjknH
— Glenn McCall (@GMcCallSC) March 3, 2020
A Salute of Admiration and Respect to Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. Who follows in the proud tradition of Tuskegee Airmen Gen. Chappie James. #BlueSkies
— Tim Larsen, LtCol, USAF (Ret)?? (@tgordonlarsen) March 4, 2020
Historic moments like this will be overlooked because it is Trump. Very proud of my USAF for putting this outstanding (black) airman to be our top military officer. https://t.co/NDPvoPagmY
— Brendan (@bcool25) March 3, 2020
WATCH: A video from TIME Magazine about President Trump’s promotion of U.S. Marine Corps. Brig. Gen. Lorna M. Mahlock.