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Gen. Lloyd Austin
Lloyd Austin was born on this date in 1953. He is a Black retired Army officer, a four-star general.
Lloyd James Austin III was born in Mobile, Alabama, and raised in Thomasville, Georgia. He graduated from the United States Military Academy (West Point) with a Bachelor of Science in 1975. He later earned a Master of Arts 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 graduated from the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College. Austin was commissioned as a second lieutenant after graduation from West Point. His initial assignment was to the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) in Germany. 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 Army Indianapolis District Recruiting Command operations officer and later commanded a company in the Army Recruiting Battalion.
Upon completing this, He was 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 the 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. Before CENTCOM, Austin was the last commanding general of United States Forces Iraq Operation New Dawn, which ended on December 18, 2011. He was the 33rd vice chief of staff of the United States Army from January 31, 2012, to March 22, 2013. He retired from the armed services in 2016 and subsequently served on Raytheon Technologies, Nucor, and Tenet Healthcare boards. Austin also served as the 12th commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM) and the first black commander of CENTCOM.
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 while in Iraq and has a habit of "referring to himself in the third person." On December 8, 2020, Austin was nominated as secretary of defense in the Biden administration.