(MSN)– President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name Lloyd Austin, a retired Army general who was in charge of military operations in the Middle East under President Obama, as his defense secretary, according to people familiar with the matter, which would make him the first Black defense chief in U.S. history.
Gen. Austin’s nomination would represent the second time a retired general has been chosen to lead the department in recent years, after retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis. In addition to Senate confirmation, Gen. Austin would be required under law to obtain a congressional waiver to serve in the post, as he has been out of uniform for less than seven years.
Gen. Austin didn’t respond to requests for comment, and Mr. Biden’s transition team didn’t respond to questions. Mr. Biden told reporters Monday that he planned to name a defense secretary nominee on Friday.