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Lloyd Austin
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Military Personnel
    (August 8, 1953- )
    Born in Mobile, Alabama
    Four-star general
    Commanding General of US Forces -- Iraq (2010-11)
    Commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM, 2013-16)
    US Secretary of Defense (assumed office January 22, 2021)
    He tends to refer to himself in the third person.
    As head of CENTCOM, he reportedly dismissed the Islamic State as a 'flash in the pan.' (2015)
    During an appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee to discuss the conflict with the Islamic State, aggressive questioning by John McCain left him literally at a loss for words. (McCain commented, 'I have been a member of this Committee for nearly thirty years, and I have never heard testimony like this, never.')
    In order to be named Secretary of Defense, Congress had to issue a waiver to bypass a seven-year waiting period after leaving active duty required under the National Security Act of 1947.
    After a Taliban attack on the Kabul airport that killed 183 people, including 13 American service members (August 26, 2021), a group of 90 retired generals and admirals called on him to resign over the 'disastrous' withdrawal from Afghanistan.
    In high school, he was captain of the varsity basketball team.
    He was the first African-American to lead an Army corps in combat and to command a US Army division.
    He served as a division commander in Iraq (2003) and Afghanistan (2003-05), earning a Silver Star for his actions in Iraq.
    He denied making the 'flash in the pan' comment about the Islamic State.

Credit: C. Fishel

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