By | Rachel Brooks
Staff | Telegraph Local
Above, a photo of Major General Charles Brown, taken in March 2014, public domain.
The first African American service chief in the history of the U.S. military has been confirmed by the Senate. Trump appointed the new service chief amid race relations tensions and civil rights protests/riots. NPR News reports that General Charles “CQ” Brown Jr. was approved by the Senate unanimously, thus making history.
The Senate approved General Brown with a 98-0 vote. The four star general is now the chief of the United States Air Force. General Brown joins General James McConville who is the Chief Army Officer and Admiral Mike Gilday the Chief Navy Officer. He joins General David H. Berger who is the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and General Joseph L. Lengyel. He also joins General General John W. Raymond who is the Chief of Space Operations at the newly formed United States Space Force. See more information on the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Joint Chiefs of Staff official website.
Brown’s confirmation ceremony happened on the same day as George Floyd’s funeral service was broadcast. General Brown made a statement on behalf of Mr. Floyd and the nation grieved by his unjust passing. General Brown made these statements on June 5, and addressed the nation not yet as the Chief of the Air Force but as the Command of the Pacific Air Forces.
“”As the commander of the Pacific Air Forces, a senior leader in our Air Force, and an African American, many of you may be wondering what I’m thinking about the current events surrounding the tragic death of George Floyd,” General Brown began his statements, in a video that was posted on June 5. General Brown.
General Brown went on to deliver an impassioned speech regarding his thoughts on the civil rights status surrounding the demise of Mr. Floyd. He noted with grief how many of his fellow African Americans have experienced the horror of a similar demise as Mr. Floyd. He spoke of how oftentimes in his life as both an African American and as an Airman were challenged due to his status as a minority servicemember. He expressed memories of overachieving to meet the implied expectations of his non-African American mentors and peers, feeling that less was expected of him because of his race. He recalled how he was asked whether or not he was truly a pilot despite wearing the same honors as his peers.
“I’m thinking about how my nomination provides some hope, but also comes with a heavy burden,” said General Brown, in direct reference to his appointment as Chief Air Force Officer.
“I can’t fix centuries of racism in our country, nor can I fix decades of discrimination that may have impacted members of our Air Force. I’m thinking about how I can make improvements. Personally, professionally, and institutionally so that all Airmen, both today and tomorrow, appreciate the value of diversity and can serve in an environment where they can reach their full potential,” continued the General, while yet approaching the task with humility and questions.
“I’m thinking how I don’t have all the answers on how to create such an environment,” he continued his address. Then, much like the ancient King Solomon, he expressed his desire for wisdom for this hour of American history.
“I want the wisdom and knowledge to lead,” said General Brown as he proceeded to also state how he wanted to engage in critical conversations about racism, diversity, and moving forward in the American Air Force.