Lloyd Austin

Secretary of Defense

  • Retired four-star General with more than 40 years of military service
  • Worked with President-elect Biden to bring our troops home from Iraq
  • Chief architect of the military campaign to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
  • Would be the first African American Secretary of Defense

Lloyd Austin was the 12th Commander of the U.S. Central Command, retiring as a four-star general in 2016 after more than 40 years of military service. As Combined Forces Commander, General Austin led the design and execution of the military campaign to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. As commanding general of United States Forces – Iraq, he was responsible for the Army’s largest logistical effort in more than 60 years when he oversaw the transition of U.S. and Coalition military forces and equipment out of Iraq.

At the Pentagon, Austin has served as Chief of the Joint Operations, J-3, Joint Staff, and as Director of the Joint Staff. He has commanded troops in combat at each of the one-, two-, three-, and four-star levels, and became the 200th person in history to ascend to the Army’s top rank of four-star general — the sixth African American to do so — in 2010. In addition, he was the first African American general officer to command a U.S. Army Division in combat, to lead a Corps in combat, to command an entire theater of war, to serve as Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, and to serve as Commander of U.S. Central Command. His awards include the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, three Distinguished Service Medals, and five Defense Distinguished Service Medals. Born in Alabama and raised in Georgia, Austin received his bachelor of science degree from West Point, his masters in education from Auburn University, and his masters in business administration from Webster University.

Stay Connected

Sign up for updates from the Biden-Harris Transition Team.

By submitting your cell phone number you are agreeing to receive automated, periodic text messages from this organization. Message and data rates may apply. Text HELP for more information. Text STOP to stop receiving messages. Text program is completely voluntary.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris standing on stage with arms raised.
Scroll to Top