General Charles “CQ” Brown made history by becoming the first Black man to be appointed to the position of chief of staff of the Air Force.
Charles was officially sworn in for duty on Thursday, although the appointment was confirmed by the Senate in June.
Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the appointment, called Brown’s 98-0 vote “historic.”
“This is a very historic day for our nation, and I do not take this moment lightly,” Brown said. “Today is possible due to the perseverance of those who went before me, serving as an inspiration to me and so many others.”
Brown paid tribute to his predecessors, the Tuskegee Airmen, a unit of Black World War II pilots, including commander Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. and Brig. Gen. Charles McGee, a surviving member of the unit.
Brown was a fighter pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours with the F-16 Fighting Falcon, including 130 in combat, Milliary.com reported.
As head of the Air Forces Central Command, he led an air campaign against the Islamic State.
He most recently served as the commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, watching over more than 46,000 airmen operating out of Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam.
Brown also thanked Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James, the first Black four-star general, and Ed Dwight, America’s first Black test pilot to enter the Air Force training program.
“It is due to their trials and tribulations in breaking barriers that I can address you today as the Air Force chief of staff,” Brown said.
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