General Austin becomes first African-American to lead US Central Command

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Washington (Web Desk): The former Army general Lloyd Austin made history when he was confirmed by the US Senate as America’s first Black defense secretary.

After being confirmed by the Senate, Austin was administratively sworn by Tom Muir, acting director of the Washington Headquarters Services.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as our country’s 28th Secretary of Defense, and I’m especially proud to be the first African American to hold the position. Let’s get to work,” Austin said in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, President Joe Biden signed a waiver approved by Congress allowing Austin to take the job even though it's been fewer than seven years since he retired in 2016.

The rule for former military leaders taking over at the Pentagon was instituted to address concerns about keeping civilian control of the military and worries someone recently retired might be too wedded to policies and to people he or she worked with during their time in the military.