Washington – The Senate confirmed General Charles Q. Brown Jr. on Tuesday as the new chief of staff of the Air Force, thus becoming the first African American in history to command one of the military branches in the country.
Brown Jr. was confirmed with 98 votes in favor and none against in a historic Senate vote chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, who normally only participates to break ties.
“Today is a historic day for our nation,” said Pence after confirmation by Brown Jr., nominated for office by President Donald Trump.RELATED
Days ago, the general shared a video in which he described the challenges he has had as an African American in the Armed Forces and alluded to the murder at the hands of George Floyd police, which sparked racial protests across the country.
Brown Jr. declared himself “full of emotion not only for George Floyd, but for the many African Americans who have suffered the same fate as George Floyd.”
“I am thinking of a history of racial problems and my own experiences, which were not always about freedom,” said this Texas-born pilot who until now commanded the Pacific Air Force.
Brown Jr. described a career in the Air Force in which he was often “the only African American in the squad” and as a senior commander “the only African American in the room.”
“I am thinking of wearing the same flight uniform with the same wings on my chest as my companions and being asked by another military man: ‘Are you a pilot?'” He said in the emotional video.
“I am thinking of the pressure I felt to act flawlessly, especially for the supervisors I perceived expected less of me as an African American. I am thinking of having to work twice as hard to demonstrate that their expectations and perceptions of African Americans were not true,” he added. .
According to data from the Pentagon collected by CNN, 18.7% of the military in the United States are black, but that percentage falls to 8.8% among the commanders.