Austin in 2013
|United States Secretary of Defense|
|President||Joe Biden (elect)|
|Succeeding||Christopher C. Miller (acting)|
|Commander of United States Central Command|
March 22, 2013 – March 30, 2016
|Preceded by||Jim Mattis|
|Succeeded by||Joseph Votel|
Lloyd James Austin III
August 8, 1953
Mobile, Alabama, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Charlene D. Austin|
|Education||United States Military Academy (BS)|
Auburn University (MA)
Webster University (MBA)
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1975–2016|
|Battles/wars||War in Afghanistan|
Lloyd James Austin III (born August 8, 1953) is an American retired four-star Army general who served as the 12th commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM). Austin was the first black commander of CENTCOM.
Before CENTCOM, Austin was the 33rd vice chief of staff of the United States Army from January 2012 to March 2013, and the last commanding general of United States Forces – Iraq Operation New Dawn, which ended in December 2011. He retired from the armed services in 2016, and subsequently served on the boards of Raytheon Technologies, Nucor, and Tenet Healthcare.
Austin was born on August 8, 1953, in Mobile, Alabama and raised in Thomasville, Georgia. He graduated from the United States Military Academy (West Point) with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1975. He later earned a Master of Arts degree in counselor education from Auburn University's College of Education in 1986, and a Master of Business Administration in business management from Webster University in 1989. He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced courses, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College.
Following this assignment and attendance at the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he commanded the Combat Support Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 508th Infantry and served as the Assistant S-3 (Operations) for 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division.
In 1981, Austin was assigned to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was the operations officer for the Army Indianapolis District Recruiting Command and later commanded a company in the Army Recruiting Battalion.[additional citation(s) needed] Upon completing this assignment, he attended Auburn University, where he completed studies for a master's degree in education. He was then assigned to the Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he served as a company tactical officer.
After his selection and subsequent completion of the Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, he was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, New York, where he served as the S-3 (Operations) and later executive officer for the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry. He subsequently served as Executive Officer for 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and later as Director of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security for Fort Drum, New York.
In 1993, Austin returned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he commanded the 2d Battalion (Airborne), 505th Infantry. He later served as the G-3 for the 82nd Airborne Division. Following graduation from the Army War College, he commanded the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Shortly after brigade command, he was assigned to The Pentagon in Washington, D.C., where he served as Chief, Joint Operations Division, J-3, on the Joint Staff. His next assignment was as Assistant Division Commander for Maneuver (ADC-M), 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Stewart, Georgia. As the ADC-M, he helped lead the division's invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Austin was awarded a Silver Star for his actions as commander during the invasion.
Austin served from September 2003 until August 2005 as the commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), with duty as Commander, Combined Joint Task Force 180, during the War in Afghanistan. His next position was chief of staff of the United States Central Command at MacDill AFB, in Tampa, Florida, from September 2005 until October 2006.
On December 8, 2006, Austin was promoted to lieutenant general, and assumed command of the XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In February 2008, Austin became the second highest ranking commander in Iraq, taking command of the Multi-National Corps – Iraq (MNC-I). As commander of MNC-I, he directed the operations of approximately 152,000 joint and coalition forces in all sectors of Iraq.
Austin handed over command of XVIII Corps to become Director of the Joint Staff in August 2009. This promotion came at the direction of Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time. While Director, Austin was told by Mullen to increase the diversity of the Joint Staff. Austin credited the appointment as having jumpstarted his later career, saying: "People who might not have known Lloyd Austin began to know him."
On September 1, 2010, Austin became Commanding General (CG) of United States Forces – Iraq (USF-I) at a ceremony at Al-Faw Palace in Baghdad. He took over from General Ray Odierno. As CG, USF-I, Austin was the senior military commander in charge of all US and remaining coalition forces in Iraq. Their mission was to advise, train, assist, and equip the Iraqi Armed Forces and the security agencies part of the Ministry of the Interior. As commander, Austin requested an additional troop presence in Iraq from 14,000 to 18,000.
Austin oversaw the transition from Operation Iraqi Freedom and combat operations to Operation New Dawn and stability operations focused on advising, assisting, and training the ISF. He was extensively involved in the internal U.S. discussions and then negotiations with the Iraqi Government leading up to the signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement. Opposing total U.S. withdrawal, Austin preferred that the U.S. maintain over about 10,000 troops in Iraq after 2011 and he approved staff planning for up to 20,000 remaining troops. He directed the drawdown of forces and the redeployment of approximately 50,000 servicemembers. The U.S. command in Iraq formally cased its colors on December 15, 2011, at a reduced-sized BIAP complex, and Austin's speech there cited his division's seizure of the airport over eight years beforehand. Austin, along with other members of the USF-I staff, departed Iraq on December 18, 2011.
In December 2011, Austin was nominated to become Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army (VCSA). He took office on January 31, 2012. As VCSA, he managed the day-to-day administration of the Army's budget and headquarters staff. Under his direction, the Army took steps to reduce the incidence of suicide in the ranks. He also supervised a review of the psychiatric treatment of personnel assessed for disability by the Army.
Austin became the commander of CENTCOM on March 22, 2013, after being nominated by President Obama in late 2012. His approach as CENTCOM commander has been described as that of an "invisible general", due to his reluctance to speak publicly about military matters.
As commander, after ISIL seized control of Mosul in June 2014, Austin oversaw the development and execution of the military campaign plan to counter ISIL in Iraq and Syria. He had earlier described ISIL as a "flash in the pan". As of October 2014, Austin argued that the US military's primary focus in operations against ISIL should be Iraq, as opposed to Syria. In 2015, Austin conceded in a Senate Committee on Armed Services hearing that a US program intended to train Syrians to combat ISIL had not been successful. At the hearing, he faced particularly pointed questioning from Senator John McCain over the direction of military engagement in Syria.
Austin joined the board of Raytheon Technologies, a military contractor, in April 2016, following Raytheon's merger with United Technologies. As of October 2020[update], his Raytheon stock holdings were worth roughly $500,000 and his compensation, including stock, totaled $1.4 million. On September 18, 2017, he was appointed to Nucor's board of directors. On May 29, 2018, Austin was appointed as an independent director on the board of Tenet Healthcare. He also operates a consulting firm and has been a partner at Pine Island Capital, an investment company with which Antony Blinken and Michèle Flournoy are affiliated.
On December 7, 2020, it was reported that President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Austin as secretary of defense. Biden became acquainted with Austin while Austin was CENTCOM commander in the Obama administration, and reportedly grew to trust Austin after receiving Austin's briefings. Like former defense secretary James Mattis, Austin will require a congressional waiver of the National Security Act of 1947 to bypass the seven-year waiting period after leaving active-duty military, as prescribed by 10 U.S.C. § 113(a), in order to be appointed as secretary of defense.
Austin's nomination, and the attendant requirement for a waiver, met with concern in Congress regarding its implications for civil–military relations. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, among others, issued statements supporting Austin's nomination.
Raised by a devout Catholic mother, Austin still practices the faith. He has been described as an "intensely private" man who loathed talking to the news media when he was in Iraq and has a habit of "referring to himself in the third person".
Austin and his wife, Charlene D. Austin, have been married for over 40 years. Charlene has worked as a non-profit administrator and served the board of the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University. They have two sons.
[Austin] subsequently oversaw the withdrawal of US troops in 2011, a decision which he disagreed with.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lloyd Austin.|
Franklin L. Hagenbeck
| Commander of the 10th Mountain Division
| Commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps
| Commanding General of the Multinational Corps–Iraq
Charles H. Jacoby Jr.
| Commanding General of the United States Forces-Iraq
Peter W. Chiarelli
| Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
| Commander of United States Central Command
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2020-12-19 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=2347492