UPDATE- SECDEF Austin’s Day One Message

| January 22, 2021

Just in- the Senate has confirmed General Lloyd Austin, USA (Ret) as Secretary of Defense. Much ado will be made of his ethnicity, which is unfortunate. Like most here, I’m much more interested in his past performance, ethics and professionalism. On these points, from what I’ve read, I’m encouraged.

OAM sends.

Austin confirmed as new Defense Secretary in historic vote

Leo Shane III and Joe Gould

Former U.S. Central Command leader Lloyd Austin was confirmed Friday as the next Defense Secretary, a historic vote that makes him the nation’s first Black chief of the Pentagon.

Austin, a four-star Army general who spent more than 40 years in the ranks, was approved by an overwhelming 93-2 vote in the Senate. A day earlier, the House and Senate also approved waiver language to allow Austin, who retired in 2016, to serve in the post despite a law mandating a seven-year gap between military service and the top civilian defense job.

The vote, which came two days after President Joe Biden was sworn in as commander-in-chief, erased fears of a possible lengthy wait for the new administration’s national security team to be put in place. Biden has said that Austin, 67, has “intimate knowledge of the Department of Defense” that will be crucial as his team rewrites four years of military and defense policy under former President Donald Trump, and faces ongoing threats from overseas adversaries.

Add to the last “…after the Biden Administration emasculates the military.” Good luck, General. Read the entire article here: Military Times
Thanks, OAM.

UPDATE.

Day One Message to the Force From Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III

I am honored to have this chance to serve again and to do so alongside you and your families. My wife, Charlene, and I know all too well the sacrifices you make to keep this country safe. That safety is job one, and I promise to work as hard as you do at it.

The way I see it, my job as Secretary of Defense is to make you more effective at doing yours. That means ensuring you have the tools, technology, weapons, and training to deter and defeat our enemies. It means establishing sound policy and strategy and assigning you clear missions. It means putting a premium on cooperation with our allies and partners. And it means living up to our core values, the same ones our fellow citizens expect of us.

Right now, of course, doing my job also means helping our country get control of the pandemic, which has killed more than 400,000 Americans. You have already come to the aid of our Nation’s health care professionals. You can expect that mission to continue. But we must help the Federal Government move further and faster to eradicate the devastating effects of the coronavirus. To that end, we will also do everything we can to vaccinate and care for our workforce and to look for meaningful ways to alleviate the pressure this pandemic has exerted on you and your families.

None of us succeeds at this business alone. Defending the country requires teamwork and cooperation. It requires a certain humility, a willingness to learn, and absolute respect for one another. I know you share my devotion to these qualities.

I am proud to be back on your team.

Thanks again, OAM.

Category: Biden, Big Pentagon, Guest Link

Comments (48)

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  1. KoB says:

    I wish the General well in his new endeavors. I have always been one to judge a person by their character above anything else. We shall see.

  2. penguinman000 says:

    Had never heard of the man. Looked him up and he seems more than qualified for the position.

    He was the CENTCOM commander for three (3) years and made it a point not to run to the press. That alone is a major plus.

    Imagine, a general officer who isn’t interested in speaking with the press?

    Of course, regardless of how qualified he is/is not, the mud will start being slung in fairly short order.

    • Berliner says:

      I was at 10th Mtn (LI) at Ft Drum, NY 84-90. He was S-3 and later XO of 2-22d Inf and then XO 1st Bde, 10th Mtn. His nickname by the troops was Darth Vader.

      • Slow Joe says:

        Come on, give us more than that!

        • Berliner says:

          I was Brigade Retention. He was easy to talk to. He like doing reenlistments. He was about the only officer that didn’t look at me sideways for doing cross-country skiing for in the winter and running on my own the rest of the year for pt. He knew I was attached and not assigned to the brigade.

  3. 26Limabeans says:

    Never heard of him. Good, I will keep an open mind.

  4. Claw says:

    Three time NDSM recipient. Was a shoe-in from the git-go.

    Congratulations.

    • ChipNASA says:

      OK I was all serious until I giggles at this….

      2X Team!! (Club)

    • SFC D says:

      Three? Does his time at West Point qualify him for #1?

        • SFC D says:

          Many thanks, I wasn’t sure how that worked.

          • Claw says:

            “How?” – One example is if a Cadet is injured during, say, summer break Basic Airborne Course, the injury is considered Line Of Duty.

            But, perhaps, one of the more knowledgeable commenters here at TAH can/will give a full explanation as to why Cadets are authorized to wear an NDSM if their time at West Point falls during an eligibility period.

            • ninja says:

              “Cadets of the U.S. Military Academy are eligible for the NDSM, during any of the inclusive periods listed above, upon completion of the swearing-in ceremonies as a cadet.”

              https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2008-title32-vol3/xml/CFR-2008-title32-vol3-sec578-23.xml

              He graduated from West Point in 1975, which means he entered West Point in 1971.

              Cadets are paid while attending West Point..I think E5 pay…will double check on that.

              • Hondo says:

                ninja: per Federal law – specifically, 37 USC 203(c) – USMC/USNA/USAFA/USCGA Cadets/Midshipmen receive monthly base pay equal to 35% of the monthly base pay of an O1 with less than 2 years of service. That’s apparently been the case since at least 1962.

                However, Cadets/Midshipmen also must pay for all of their uniforms and books, as well as pay Federal and state taxes (the latter based on state of residency). So they hardly see the full amount.

                FWIW: Per the latest (Jan 2021) DFAS pay tables, a 2LT with <2 years military service today receives a monthly base pay of $3,385.80; 35% of that amount is $1,185.03. An E1 with <4 mo of service receives a monthly base pay of $1,650.30 - or a bit over $465/mo more.

                • ninja says:

                  Thank You, Hondo…you beat me to it, i.e. Military Cadets receiving almost half a 2LT pay.

                  The E5 pay went with those who attended OCS who were NOT SGTs/SP5s (remember them?) while going thru the course.

                  Appreciate the update!

  5. Sapper3307 says:

    He was my task force commander 2/505 in our younger days A+ leader. Hope he was not corrupted.

  6. Mason says:

    Good for him. Sounds like he’s got a solid reputation as a leader of troops. Also a very private person, which I like.

    I hope he doesn’t get eaten live by the establishment. Not many GOs have what it takes to work in that cesspool.

  7. David says:

    I was encouraged by Mattis… look how that worked out. We’ll see.

  8. Sapper3307 says:

    I would to to be in the room the first time Joe calls him CornPop.

  9. Ex-PH2 says:

    Well, the General does look as though he could melt steel shields with that glare of his. In my view, that means he’s possibly a no-nonsense sort of person.

    Let’s just hope that he doesn’t become discouraged by SNiff & Scratch while he has that job. I wish him well.

  10. Daisy Cutter says:

    Shumer just accused Trump of inciting the erection.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/schumer-unfortunate-trump-gaffe-senate

  11. Tallywhagger says:

    Rules? Fuck that. Everything is new, special and different. Piss on your goddamned waivers, that’s the same ol’ shit as interrupting commercial law, halting foreclosures, impairing collateral assets, spitting on contract law or any other “expedient” as Reich’s Queen-Whitmer, Heil Hillary, contrives or devises under the guise of exigency.

    I see no purpose for Department of Defense to be involved in anything related to civilian inoculations or any other federal imposition where a capable governor and local administrative structure exists.

    If the general is as “special” as Mattis worked out to be, along with Kelly, then let a qualified candidate retain them as consultants.

    You cannot trust ANYTHING that derives from depths or flotsam of shovel-ready J’Obiden.

  12. OldManchu says:

    He said he is “committed to eradicating white supremacy from the ranks of the military.”

    He has been corrupted.

    • penguinman000 says:

      Where the fusk do you get that from?

    • Mason says:

      To be fair, who isn’t committed to that?

    • Slow Joe says:

      That’s a dog whistle for Democrats. We know there has been white supremacy in the military for decades.

      That statement is virtue signaling, to demonstrate to the Dems that he belongs to the club, that he speaks Democrat.

      If he was chosen by the same Leftist cabal that stole our elections, he is corrupted.

      • Slow Joe says:

        *there has NOT been white supremacy in the military for decades.

        • rgr769 says:

          Correct. Even though the Army was full of draftees in infantry units until 1972, I never saw any evidence of their bogus “white supremacy.” Never saw it after the draft ended either. Back then, the Army was one of the most color blind institutions in the country. Many of the finest officers and NCO’s I served with were other than white.

          • 5JC says:

            I saw it back at Bragg in the 90s. That’s the last time I recall seeing. McVeigh served after that so it was there. Today I’d say it is more rare than a transgendered Ranger School grad.

          • timactual says:

            I don’t know about supremacy but there were certainly “racial tensions” back then. Not surprising, of course, since the whole country was rife with it. I did have one O2 say something to me about those once. And there was the occasional mugging, fight, or riot. I also learned that if my black brothers expected much support from their brown brothers they had better think again.

            I am so glad the country has gotten past all that crap.

    • Hondo says:

      Per the linked article, his exact words were, “If confirmed, I will fight hard to stamp out sexual assault, to rid our ranks of racists and extremists, and to create a climate where everyone fit and willing has the opportunity to serve this country with dignity.”

      • rgr769 says:

        Well then he will have to stamp out BLMism in the military. Because it is a racist org with a racist credo. Unless, he subscribes to the bogus belief that Blacks can’t have racist views.

  13. Devtun says:

    9 DSM awards – that’s ridiculous. The second most ever awarded. Many decorated 4 stars receive maybe 3 or 4 DSMs.

    • Poetrooper says:

      And you have to ask yourself:

      “Just why is that do you suppose?”

      • 5JC says:

        I’d suppose he was a good leader or well liked. Everyone who I know who served under him agrees with that. I always thought he was a good leader although I only came across him once, during my last deployment to Iraq.

      • Hondo says:

        Devtun, PT: I’m finding references to either 7 or 8 DSMs/DDSMs combined, not a total of 9.

        One of those was almost certainly his retirement award (and also very likely covered his final assignment as CG, CENTCOM). Further, Austin had six different 3- or 4-star assignments: CG, 18th Abn Corps; CG, MNF-I; Dir, Joint Staff; CG, US Forces – Iraq; VCSA; and CG, CENTCOM.

        That accounts for at least 6 and possibly 7 DSM/DDSMs (a DSM or DDSM is fairly common for 3- and 4-star GOs successfully completing an assignment). That leaves possibly one (based on his having received a total of 7) or possibly 2 (based on a combined total of 8) – and Austin also was CG (as a MG) of 10th Mtn Div/TF180 in Afghanistan from 2003-2005. This was a hugely high-vis 2-star assignment.

        I’d guess his other DSM/DDSM came from that (e.g., serving as CDR, CJTF and 10th Mtn Div), or from his follow-on assignment as CENTCOM Chief of Staff for a year afterwards. It’s also possible that the award may have covered both assignments, since both CG TF180 and the CENTCOM CofS position were under CENTCOM billets. Or he might have received one for each assignment. Dunno.

        As far as I can remember, though we did serve at the same location once at the same time I’m pretty sure I never met the man. But best I can tell the guy is 100% legit and has been hugely successful throughout his career. No explanation appears necessary for his highest awards other than that he (1) was selected for a large number of high-vis, high responsibility jobs at the 2-star level and above, and (2) was simply damn good in all of them.

        • Devtun says:

          Yeah Hondo, Looks like 7. I read an article somewhere that mistakenly had him at 9. It would put him on par w/ GENs Petraeus & Odierno w/ 7 respectively. GEN Dempsey w/ most at 12 DSMs appears legit. 6 Army DSM, 3 DDSM, and one each from the USN, USAF, and USCG.

          Does the Marine Corps have a stricter policy? Kinda shocked Gens Mattis & Dunford have a relatively modest number of DSMs. As GOs, they have held numerous positions of significant responsibility.

          • Hondo says:

            Could be 8 – I found one citation (his bio on-line at the Carnegie Corporation of NY, where he was apparently a Trustee) that said 5 DDSM and 3 Army DSMs. I’ve seen others that say 7. A last DDSM as a retirement award in addition to one for service as CG CENTCOM (or an “off by one” error in the Carnegie bio) would explain the difference.

            Either way, he’s not grossly out of line with respect to his Army peers with similar records.

  14. ninja says:

    We worked with him.

    Very down to Earth….He believed in taking care of Soldiers.

  15. OWB says:

    Sounds like a good choice. Sounds like maybe a very good choice. Sounds like he is well aware of what he signed on for.

    And it sounds like the he may show the real racists in DC a thing or three. Best to him and his family.

    Good luck, sir.

  16. USMC Steve says:

    That Mongolian clusterfuck being run by the false president will subvert him, or he will quit. One of the two WILL happen. If he does not go along, he will be getting gone.