Gen. Charles Q. Brown was confirmed Tuesday as the Air Force's 22nd chief of staff -- and the first African-American man to lead a military branch. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force
June 9 (UPI) -- The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to make Gen. Charles Q. Brown the Air Force's 22nd chief of staff -- and the first African-American to lead a U.S. military branch.
Brown, who is currently the commander of the Pacific Air Forces, will replace Gen. Dave Goldfein as the Air Force's top general.
"Congratulations to Gen CQ Brown on his nomination to be our next Chief. He's led worldwide - in the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa," Goldfein tweeted when Brown was nominated in March, calling Brown "one of the finest warriors" the Air Force has ever produced.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted that Brown's confirmation marked a "historic day in America."
Last week, Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, delayed Brown's nomination from moving forward due to questions about the KC-46 aerial-refueling tanker -- but Sullivan dropped the hold Wednesday, allowing the vote to proceed.
"It is an absolute privilege for Sharene and I to serve our Airmen and families," Brown said in a statement. "We are committed to building upon our foundation and legacy to ensure we remain the most respected and capable Air Force in the world."
The confirmation comes after more than two weeks of demonstrations against police brutality disproportionately targeting black Americans, and a renewed conversation about racial tension in the United Stations.
Last week, the Pacific Air Forces posted a video to its Twitter account in which Brown reflects on the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd and the racism he has experienced both inside and outside the military, as well as the conversations he is having with his own children amid the protests.
"I'm thinking about the African Americans that went before me to make this opportunity possible. I'm thinking about the immense expectations that come with this historic nomination, particularly through the lens of current events plaguing our nation," Brown said in the video, which is just under five minutes long.
"I'm thinking about how I may have fallen short in my career, and how I may continue to fall short living up to all those expectations," Brown said. "I'm thinking about how my nomination provides some hope, but also comes with a heavy burden. I can't fix centuries of racism in our country, nor can I fix decades of discrimination that may have impacted members of our Air Force.
"I'm thinking about how I can make improvements -- personally, professionally and institutionally, so that all airmen, both today and tomorrow, appreciate the value of diversity and can serve in an environment where they can reach their full potential," Brown said.