Austin confirmed as vice chief 


Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, was confirmed by the Senate Nov. 10 to be the Army vice chief of staff succeeding Gen. Peter Chiarelli who has served in this position since August 2008.

Austin, serving as the commanding general, United States Forces – Iraq, since Sept. 1, 2010, was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the Army’s 33rd vice chief of staff pending Senate confirmation.

The Senate also confirmed Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell to be the commanding general, U.S. Army North and Fifth U.S. Army.

Caldwell recently served as the commander, Combined Security Transition Command — Afghanistan and commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Training Mission — Afghanistan.

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.

Also confirmed was Maj. Gen. William E. Ingram, Army National Guard, to the rank of lieutenant general and director of the Army National Guard.

Ingram served as adjutant general, North Carolina National Guard.