President-elect Joe Biden has confirmed his team will include the first black US Defense Secretary to take the post in American history.
Retired four-star US Army general, Lloyd J Austin, had been heavily linked to the top job in the Pentagon, but confirmation has come from Mr Biden in an article written for The Atlantic magazine.
“In the many hours we've spent together in the Situation Room and with our troops – I've witnessed General Austin's character,” wrote Joe Biden on Twitter, praising the 67-year-old, who served with the US military for 41 years.
“He shares my belief that we are strongest when we lead not only by the example of our power but by the power of our example.”
Gen Austin retired from the US Army in 2016, having led US and coalition troops in Iraq during the Obama administration.
In 2008, Gen Austin was commander in Baghdad of the Multinational Corps-Iraq and returned to lead US troops from 2010 through 2011.
Although he disagreed with President Obama’s decision to pull out of Iraq entirely in December 2011, Joe Biden’s article praises the diplomatic skills required to bring home 150,000 troops.
Cover image: Gen Lloyd J Austin (Picture: US Department of Defense).