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Trump Taps Gen. Charles Q. Brown to Become Air Force’s First African-American Chief of Staff

The U.S. Air Force could see its first African-American chief of staff.

White House officials confirmed Monday, March 2 that Gen. Charles Q. Brown has been tapped to lead the military branch upon General David L. Goldfein’s retirement on June 30. Brown, a decorated pilot currently serving as head of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, would assume one of two of the Air Force’s highest positions and become the first African-American to serve the Air Force as chief of staff.

Charles Q. Brown
Gen. Charles Q. Brown has served in the U.S. Air Force for 35 years and currently serves as head of U.S. Pacific Air Forces. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

President Donald Trump reportedly nominated Brown himself.

“I am truly honored and humbled by the nomination to serve as U.S. Air Force’s 22nd Chief of Staff,” Brown said in a statement. “If confirmed, my [wife] Sharene and I look forward to building upon the legacy of Gen. Dave and Dawn Goldfein and the many airpower giants before who have served our Air Force and our nation with such dedication.”

Known by his comrades as “CQ,” the seasoned pilot has more than 2,900 flying hours — primarily in the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and including 130 combat hours under his belt; he currently leads an estimated 46,000 airmen across the globe. Brown previously served as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command and played a pivotal role in air operations against ISIS in Libya, according to Business Insider.

As chief of staff, Brown would be tasked with various responsibilities related to maintenance of the branch’s culture, budget, priorities and training, according to an Air Force news release. The Texas Tech University grad would also ensure the integration of warfighting operations information and data across all domains and services.

“CQ Brown is one of the finest warriors our Air Force has ever produced. He’s led worldwide — in the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” said Gen. Goldfein. “When it comes to global, operational savvy there is nobody stronger. Congratulations to Gen. Brown on his nomination to be our next Chief.”

Additionally, Brown would step into the role to help toward getting the newly formed U.S. Space Force off the ground. Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond lauded Brown as “the right strategic leader” for the two services.

“He clearly understands the evolving and complex strategic environment we face and recognizes the importance of integrating across all domains to compete, deter and win,” Raymond added. “On behalf of the 16,000 men and women assigned to the United States Space Force, congratulations on the nomination!”

The last African-American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff was Army Gen. Colin Powell, who served as chairman from 1989 to 1993.

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