Lloyd J. Austin III – General, U.S. Army (Ret.)

General Austin culminated his nearly 41-year military career as the 12th Commander of U.S. Central Command, responsible for military strategy and joint operations throughout the Middle East and Central and South Asia. Prior to that he served as the 33rd Vice Chief of Staff of the Army.

General Austin has the extraordinary distinction of having commanded troops in combat at the 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-star levels. He was also the first African American general officer to command division- and corps-sized elements in combat, as well as an entire theater of war in U.S. Forces-Iraq. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and is a recipient of the Silver Star, our Nation’s third highest award for valor in combat.