Lloyd Austin

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Person.png Lloyd AustinRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(military, politician)
130322 genaustin.jpg
Born8 August 1953
Alma materWest Point, Auburn University, Webster University, Army Command and General Staff College, Army War College
Member ofCouncil on Foreign Relations/Members, Raytheon
United States Secretary of Defense

Employment.png United States Secretary of Defense

In office
January 22, 2021 - Present

Employment.png Commander of United States Central Command Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
March 22, 2013 - March 30, 2016
Preceded byJames Mattis


Dates unknown

Lloyd James Austin III is an American retired four-star Army general and board member of Raytheon who has been the United States secretary of defense since January 22, 2021. Austin previously served as the 12th commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM).


Austin was commissioned as a second lieutenant after graduation from West Point in 1975. His initial assignment was to the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) in West Germany, still a tense area in the Cold War. Following this assignment and attendance at the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division.

In 1981, Austin was assigned to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was the operations officer for the Army Indianapolis District Recruiting Command and later commanded a company in the Army Recruiting Battalion. Upon completing this assignment, he attended Auburn University, where he completed studies for a master's degree in education. He was then assigned to the Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he served as a company tactical officer for E-1.

After his selection and subsequent completion of the Army Command and General Staff College, he was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), where he served as the S-3 (Operations) and later executive officer for the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry. He subsequently served as Executive Officer for 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and later as Director of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security for Fort Drum, New York.

In 1993, Austin returned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he commanded the 2d Battalion (Airborne), 505th Infantry. He later served as the G-3 for the 82nd Airborne Division. Following graduation from the Army War College, he commanded the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Shortly after brigade command, he was assigned to The Pentagon, where he served as Chief, Joint Operations Division, J-3, on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His next assignment was as Assistant Division Commander for Maneuver (ADC-M), 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized). As the ADC-M, he helped lead the division's invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Austin was awarded a Silver Star for his actions as commander during the invasion.

Austin served from September 2003 until August 2005 as the commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), with duty as Commander, Combined Joint Task Force 180, during the War in Afghanistan. His next position was chief of staff of the United States Central Command at MacDill AFB, in Tampa, Florida, from September 2005 until October 2006.

On December 8, 2006, Austin was promoted to lieutenant general, and assumed command of the XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In February 2008, Austin became the second highest ranking commander in Iraq, taking command of the Multi-National Corps – Iraq (MNC-I). As commander of MNC-I, he directed the operations of approximately 152,000 joint and coalition forces in all sectors of Iraq.

Austin handed over command of XVIII Corps to become Director of the Joint Staff in August 2009. This promotion came at the direction of Admiral ==Michael Mullen]], Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time. While Director, Austin was told by Mullen to increase the diversity of the Joint Staff. Austin credited the appointment as having jumpstarted his later career, saying: "People who might not have known Lloyd Austin began to know him."

On September 1, 2010, Austin became Commanding General (CG) of United States Forces – Iraq (USF-I). He took over from General Ray Odierno. As CG, USF-I, Austin was the senior military commander in charge of all US and remaining coalition forces in Iraq.


Austin became the commander of CENTCOM on March 22, 2013, after being nominated by President Obama in late 2012. His approach as CENTCOM commander has been described as that of an "invisible general", due to his reluctance to speak publicly about military matters.

As commander, after ISIL seized control of Mosul in June 2014, Austin oversaw the development and execution of the military campaign plan to counter[citation needed] ISIL in Iraq and Syria. He had earlier described ISIL as a "flash in the pan". As of October 2014, Austin argued that the US military's primary focus in operations against ISIL should be Iraq, as opposed to Syria. In 2015, Austin conceded in a Senate Committee on Armed Services hearing that a US program intended to train Syrians to combat ISIL had not been successful. At the hearing, he faced particularly pointed questioning from the hawkish Senator John McCain over the direction of military engagement in Syria.

Austin was the second former CENTCOM Commander after General James Mattis who later on would serve as United States Secretary of Defense. Both Austin and Mattis was once CENTCOM Commander, Mattis was succeeded by Austin following Mattis retirement as CENTCOM Commander in 2013 and served as the 26th U.S. Secretary of Defense.

Private sector

Austin joined the board of Raytheon Technologies, a military contractor, in April 2016.[1][2] As of October 2020, his Raytheon stock holdings were worth roughly $500,000 and his compensation, including stock, totaled $1.4 million. On September 18, 2017, he was appointed to Nucor's board of directors.[3] On May 29, 2018, Austin was appointed as an independent director on the board of Tenet Healthcare.[4] He also operates a consulting firm and has been a partner at Pine Island Capital, an investment company with which Antony Blinken and Michèle Flournoy are affiliated.[5]