Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, serving as the commanding general, United States Forces – Iraq, since Sept. 1, 2010, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the Army’s 33rd vice chief of staff, succeeding Gen. Peter Chiarelli who has served in that position since August 2008.
The nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.
Austin replaced Gen. Ray Odierno to lead Operation New Dawn in Iraq before Odierno became the Army’s chief of staff on Sept. 7, 2011, succeeding Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A 1975 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant of infantry, Austin also holds a master’s degree in education from Auburn University, and a master’s degree in business management from Webster University.
During his career, Austin served in several key staff assignments with the Department of the Army, Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
His command assignments include: commander, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg, N.C., and Operation Safe Haven in Panama; assistant division commander for maneuver, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga., where he played a major role in spearheading the division’s invasion of Iraq in March 2003; and commanding general, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y., with duty as commander, Combined Joint Task Force – 180, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan.
After a tour as chief of staff, U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla., he returned to Fort Bragg as a lieutenant general to command XVII Airborne Corps.
When deployed, he became the second highest ranking commander in Iraq when he replaced then-Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno at Multi-National Corps – Iraq, where he directed the operations of approximately 152,000 joint and coalition forces.
"With General Odierno as our chief of staff and General Austin as vice chief, our Army will have a command team with a depth of combat, coalition, joint and staff experience that is unmatched in America’s Army," Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., president of the Association of the United States Army, said.
Adding, "These two great Army officers have worked together as warriors and commanders for many years and in many complex situations. They have lead and protected our sons and daughters who have answered the call to arms and have served or who are now serving in harm’s way."