Notoriously woke General Mark Milley is retiring

Senior administration officials said that Brown is currently the leading contender.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Gen. Mark Milley is set to retire as Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, with his term ending this October.

President Joe Biden is weighing two options to replace him as the country’s most senior military officer.

According to the New York Times, Biden is looking at either Gen. Charles Q Brown Jr or Gen. David Berger to replace Milley.

Brown is the Air Force chief of staff, the first African American to hold the position. Senior administration officials said that Brown is currently the leading contender.

Brown’s colleagues say he is firm and methodical, and say that he has a proven track record in the Pacific, coming at a time when tensions in the region are high. 

Berger is the 38th Marine Corps commandant and a four-star general. Berger has combat comment experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has brought about a massive restructuring of the Marine Corps to focus on potential future physical conflicts in the Indo-Pacific region.

Officials said that Biden is on the verge of making a decision, and the pick must be confirmed by the Senate. The New York Times notes that this is the second time the country’s most senior military officer was a black man, and the role last being filled by an Air Force general in 2005.

Patrick Cronin, Asia-Pacific security chair at Hudson Institute, told the Daily Caller News Foundation, "As the symbol of the U.S. armed forces amid the ebb and flow of political tides, I think General Berger would be more unflappable but that General Brown might be more inspirational."

The Joint Chiefs chairman is "the foremost military advisor in the land, preparing American personnel and capabilities for conflict should deterrence fail" and instilling fear in potential adversaries across the globe, Cronin explained.

Brown, amid the nationwide riots in 2020 following the death of George Floyd, released a video in the days leading up to his confirmation vote in the Senate, saying "I’m thinking about how full I am with emotion not just for George Floyd, but the many African Americans that have suffered the same fate as George Floyd."

“I’m thinking about protests in ‘my country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty,’ the equality expressed in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that I have sworn my adult life to support and defend. I’m thinking about a history of racial issues and my own experiences that didn’t always sing of liberty and equality.”

Brown was also featured in an Air Force recruiting ad that aired during the 2021 NBA finals, in which he said, "When I’m flying, I put my helmet on, my visor down, my mask up. You don’t know who I am, whether I’m African American, Asian American, Hispanic, white, male or female. You just know I’m an American airman, kicking your butt. I’m General C.Q. Brown Jr. Come join us."

The New York Times also noted that Brown during last summer’s Aspen Security Forum said that the US might give fighter jets to Ukraine and train their pilots to fly them.

Berger, upon assuming the top job in the Marine Corps, announced that he would be getting rid of tanks, reasoning that any war fought with China would most likely be fought on Pacific islands near Taiwan, rendering the usage of tanks difficult.

Berger stated that he could save around $3 billion by getting rid of the tanks and amphibious vehicles which could instead go to new precision missiles and upgrades for Marine infantry units, outraging a group of retired generals.

"Army is huge," General Berger said at an expo in 2020. "They win our wars. The Marine Corps doesn’t win the wars. We win the battles." 


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