Senate unanimously confirms first black military service chief of staff

It has become clear in recent years that Democrats in Congress will oppose almost any move made by President Donald Trump, even if it is something they would otherwise support.

However, in an increasingly rare display of bipartisanship, the Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to confirm Gen. Charles Brown as the new chief of staff for the U.S. Air Force, making him the first black chief of any military branch in U.S. history, The Daily Caller reported.

Brown was confirmed by a 98–0 vote over which Vice President Mike Pence presided, not because of any concerns his tie-breaker vote might be needed, but rather, to fully mark the historic occasion.

Impressive background

Gen. Brown was initially nominated to take the helm of the Air Force on March 2 as a replacement outgoing Air Force Chief Gen. Dave Goldfein.

Prior to assuming his new role as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Brown served as Commander of the Pacific Air Forces, a position to which he was named in 2018, according to Defense News.

Before that, he served as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, and prior to that, he was commander of the U.S. Air Force Central Command’s combined force air component, where he oversaw all air operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and against Taliban and terrorist forces in Afghanistan.

Confirmation delayed

Unfortunately, Brown’s confirmation vote was delayed for more than a month after hearings were held in the Senate Armed Services Committee, because Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) placed an informal hold on his nomination, according to The Hill.

Sullivan had reportedly sought assurances that the Air Force would choose his state of Alaska as the location for a new base dedicated to the country’s fleet of KC-46 aerial refueling tankers.

While it remains unclear if the senator ever received the assurance he was after, Sullivan’s hold was finally lifted last week.

Historic moment

In response to the unanimous confirmation of Brown, President Trump celebrated the historic news on Twitter, of course.

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

The Daily Caller noted that Gen. Brown now has the distinction of being only the second black American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joining retired Army Gen. Colin Powell in that rather exclusive group. Powell, while never actually a “chief” of any particular military branch, had the honor of serving as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during former President George H.W. Bush’s administration.

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