The new man responsible for running the Army day to day is the first African-American to serve in the role and a general who has cut his teeth serving under Defense Secretary Gates.
The news comes from Loren Thompson, a member of Breaking Defense’s Board of Contributors.
He wrote that: “Lloyd James Austin III has been selected as the next Army Vice Chief of Staff, assuming Senate confirmation. The Thomasville, Georgia native currently serves as Commanding General, United States Forces – Iraq, having replaced Gen. Ray Odierno in that position on June 30, 2010. Odierno will succeed Gen. Martin Dempsey as the Army’s next Chief of Staff later this year.”
As Thompson notes, this man — if confirmed by the Senate — has held pretty much every top combat and staff job the military offers: Director of the Joint Staff, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps and the 10th Mountain Division, and chief of staff for Central Command.
Thompson says Austin may be “being groomed to one day serve as Army Chief of Staff” but I think that is unlikely. The Army vice rarely rises to the top Army job.