Rep. Austin Scott Votes to Allow Waiver for Thomasville Native to Serve as Next Secretary of Defense
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08), a senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), released the below statement upon voting in favor of a waiver for General Lloyd Austin III of Thomasville, GA, in Georgia’s Eighth District to serve as the next Secretary of Defense.
“I met Gen. Austin several years ago while visiting our warfighters in Iraq. I believe he would lead the Department of Defense and all our warfighters with the same poise and dedication he exercised in his four decades in the U.S. Army. He’s a son of Thomasville, and we should all be extremely proud to see him assume the critically important role of Secretary of Defense,” said Rep. Scott.
In December, President Joe Biden announced his intention to nominate Gen. Austin to be the next Secretary of Defense. For Gen. Austin’s nomination to proceed, the House and Senate must vote on a waiver to bypass a required seven-year waiting period for servicemembers to serve as Secretary of Defense after leaving active duty. The last waiver granted for a Secretary of Defense to serve less than seven years after leaving active duty was for Secretary Jim Mattis in 2017.
Gen. Austin, a four-star general, retired from the United States Army in 2016 after serving as the 12th commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM) from 2013-2016. Prior to CENTOM, he was the 33rd Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 2012-2013 and the last commanding general of United States Forces-Iraq. General Austin served as Chief of Operations, J-3, Joint Staff, and as Director of the Joint Staff. His awards include the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, three Distinguished Service Medals, and five Defense Distinguished Service Medals. General Austin graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1975.