Brown succeeds Mark Milley, who is retiring at the end of the month. The senators approved the personnel changes on Wednesday evening (local time) with 83 votes to 11. With Brown and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the two highest positions in the Pentagon are now occupied by two blacks for the first time.
The Chief of the General Staff is the military advisor to the US President and leads the strategic planning of the Defense Department. Brown has been chief of staff of the Air Force since 2020 and was recommended for this position by former President Donald Trump. His successor Joe Biden nominated Brown, who was born in 1962, as the new Chief of Staff in July, but his request was met with resistance: Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville has been blocking the routine confirmation of important personnel within the military for months. The reason: He opposes the Pentagon funding the costs of traveling to abortion clinics in other states for members of the US military.
The Democratic majority leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, now forced a single vote on Brown. The vote on hundreds of other personal details, which are usually voted on in groups, is still pending. The Senate is particularly important in the political power structure of the USA. Important personal details at the federal level must be confirmed by the Parliamentary Chamber.