Air Forces New Chief of Staff
Proclaiming himself “proud, yet humbled,” Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., was officially installed Aug. 6 as the Air Force’s 22nd Chief of Staff, becoming the first African-American in history to lead a military service as its highest ranking officer. In remarks following the formal “Change of Responsibility” ceremony in which he took over from retiring Gen. David L. Goldfein, the 21 st Chief of Staff, Brown acknowledged an array of people who influenced his life. Among them were his wife Sharene and his parents as well as a list of Air Force colleagues, including Goldfein and other “extraordinary leaders.” Yet, cognizant of the moment in history, Brown also noted, “Today is possible due to the perseverance of those who went before me serving as an inspiration to me and many others.
“Those like the Tuskegee Airmen, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., Chappie James, African-American leaders across our Air Force and military, past and present to include today’s special guest Mr. Ed Dwight, America’s first African American astronaut candidate,” he said. “It is due to their trials and tribulations in breaking barriers that I can address you today as the Air Force Chief of Staff.”