Austin, Lloyd James, 3d

Austin, Lloyd James, 3d

Austin, Lloyd James, 3d, 1953–, U.S. army general and secretary of defense, b. Mobile, Ala., B.S West Point, 1975, M.A. Auburn Univ., 1986, M.B.A. Webster Univ., 1989. He entered the U.S. Army (1975) as an infantry second lieutenant, and subsequently served in a range of command and staff positions before he was assigned in 1999 to the Pentagon, where he served as chief of the joint operations division on the Joint Staff. Austin commanded the 3d Infantry Division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and later (2008) was commanding general of the Multi-National Corps–Iraq. He then was director (2009–10) of the Joint Staff, returned to Iraq again to oversee the withdrawal of troops in 2011, and became the first black vice chief of staff of the army (2012–13). From 2013 to 2016 he led the U.S. Central Command and was an architect of the offensive against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Austin retired from the military as a full general in 2016. In 2021 he became President Biden's defense secretary; he was the first African American to serve in the post.
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