Lloyd Austin

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Lloyd Austin in 2021

Lloyd James Austin III (born August 8, 1953) is a retired United States Army four-star general serving as the 28th United States secretary of defense since January 22, 2021. He is the first African American to serve as the United States secretary of defense. Austin previously served as the 12th commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM) from 2013 to 2016.


  • If confirmed, I will fight hard to stamp out sexual assault, to rid our ranks of racists and extremists
  • We expect public servants to be guided in their actions by a strong moral compass
    ... We will not tolerate actions that go against the fundamental principles of the oath we share, including actions associated with extremist or dissident ideologies.
    ... I am directing commanding officers and supervisors at all levels to select a date within the next 60 days to conduct a one-day "stand-down" on this issue with their personnel
    ... such discussions should include the importance of our oath of office; a description of impermissible behaviors; and procedures for reporting suspected, or actual, extremist behaviors
  • I won’t give you a yes-or-no answer on that, Senator

Quotes about Austin[edit]

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  • Days after U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a new investigation into a clandestine airstrike that killed scores of Syrian noncombatants whose deaths were subsequently covered up, 24 advocacy groups on Wednesday published an open letter calling on the Pentagon to "reckon with U.S.-caused civilian casualties and commit to urgent reforms." The letter, addressed to Austin, expresses "grave concerns" about the Pentagon's "civilian harm policies and practices and their impact," citing an August 29 drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed 10 civilians including an aid worker and seven children, as well as a March 18, 2019 airstrike in Baghuz, Syria in which around 70 civilians died and was "flagged as a possible war crime by at least one Defense Department lawyer... These strikes, and the Defense Department's record of civilian harm over the past 20 years, illustrate an unacceptable failure to prioritize civilian protection in the use of lethal force; meaningfully investigate, acknowledge, and provide amends when harm occurs; and provide accountability in the event of wrongdoing," the signers continue.

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