Why I chose Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

The fact is, Austin’s many strengths and his intimate knowledge of the Department of Defense and our government are uniquely matched to the challenges and crises we face. He is the person we need in this moment.

The next secretary of defense will need to immediately quarterback an enormous logistics operation to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines widely and equitably. Austin oversaw the largest logistical operation undertaken by the Army in six decades—the Iraq drawdown.

The next secretary of defense will need to ensure the well-being and resilience of our service members and their families, strained by almost two decades of war. Austin knows the incredible cost of war and the commingled pride and pain that live in the hearts of those families that pay it.

And the next secretary of defense will have to make sure that our armed forces reflect and promote the full diversity of our nation. Austin will bring to the job not only his personal experience, but the stories of the countless young people he has mentored. If confirmed, he will ensure that every member of the armed forces is treated with dignity and respect, including Black, Latino, Asian American, Native American, women, and LGBTQ service members.