Pentagon boss Austin: ex-general with a lot of experience


Status: 01/19/2023 03:26 am

US Secretary of Defense Austin is chairing the Ukraine Contact Group meetings and is in Berlin today for talks. The former four-star general has plenty of experience with military operations and conflict regions.

By Claudia Sarre, ARD Studio Washington

Lloyd Austin is currently a regular guest at the US Air Force Base in Ramstein, Rhineland-Palatinate. The US Secretary of Defense heads the Contact Group on Defense of Ukraine, which was launched in April and has participants from more than 50 countries. On Friday, the deliberations of the group will go into the next round.

“I am pleased that the contact group is planning to help defend Ukraine in the long term,” said the 69-year-old. New and innovative ways are needed to support the Ukrainian military and people.

“I loved being a soldier”

Undoubtedly, the former four-star general has plenty of experience when it comes to coordinating and organizing military operations. Born in Alabama in 1953 and raised in Georgia, Austin made a rapid career in the army after attending the renowned West Point Military Academy.

At the time, he realized that he really liked the job, he said later. “I loved being a soldier. I loved leading and being part of a great team.”

Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria

As a young lieutenant, Austin was stationed in Germany for his first assignment. In 2003 he commanded the troops in the US military attack on Iraq. The wars that followed September 11, 2001 shaped him. Afghanistan, Iraq and – after the failure of the Arab Spring – also Syria.

41 years later, Austin left the uniform and was appointed to the cabinet by President Joe Biden. With a special permit – because only four instead of the prescribed seven years had passed since his active military service. Austin was the first African American to head the Pentagon.

Ex-Military With Lots Of Experience: Who Is Lloyd Austin?

Claudia Sarre, ARD Washington, 1/19/2023 12:32 a.m

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