WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Austin Scott, R-Ga., a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the a statement upon General Lloyd Austin III of Thomasville in Georgia’s Eighth Congressional District being confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the next Secretary of Defense. The confirmation passed by a vote of 93 to 2.
“Earlier today, the U.S. Senate confirmed Gen. Lloyd Austin of Thomasville to serve as the next Secretary of Defense by a vote of 93 to 2,” Scott said. “I have known Gen. Austin for several years, and I believe he will lead the Department of Defense and our warfighters well in this role. I look forward to working with him in my capacity as a member of the House Armed Services Committee and will continue to fight for Georgia’s nine military installations and all the active duty, guard, reservists, and Department of Defense civilians who call the Eighth District home.”
The House of Representatives passed with Rep. Scott’s support a waiver to allow Gen. Austin to bypass a seven-year waiting period for servicemembers to serve as Secretary of Defense after leaving active duty. The last waiver granted for a Secretary of Defense to serve less than seven years after leaving active duty was for Secretary Jim Mattis in 2017.
Austin, a four-star general, retired from the United States Army in 2016 after serving as the 12th commander of United States Central Command from 2013-2016. Prior to CENTCOM, he was the 33rd Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 2012-2013 and the last commanding general of United States Forces-Iraq. Austin served as Chief of Operations, J-3, Joint Staff, and as Director of the Joint Staff. His awards include the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, three Distinguished Service Medals, and five Defense Distinguished Service Medals.
Austin graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1975 and from Thomasville High School in 1971.