President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE on Tuesday participated in a swearing-in ceremony for the U.S. military’s first African American service chief, Gen. Charles “C.Q.” Brown, who will serve as Air Force chief of staff.
“You’re family is very proud of you,” Trump said in the Oval Office ceremony Tuesday afternoon alongside Brown and his family. The president complemented Brown’s career, adding, “And I’m very proud.”
Brown said he was honored to have the opportunity and expressed gratitude to administration officials, military leaders and his family.
“It is a distinct honor for me to have this opportunity,” Brown said in brief remarks. “I feel very honored and blessed.”
Vice President Pence, who presided over Brown’s historic confirmation in June, administered the oath of office during the brief ceremony.
Brown will replace retiring Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, who, along with Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperMilley and China — what the Senate really needs to know Biden, Trump battle over who's to blame for Afghanistan Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief defends Milley after Trump book criticism | Addresses critical race theory | Top general says Taliban has 'strategic momentum' in war MORE, also participated in Tuesday’s ceremony. The Air Force is expected to have its own official ceremony to mark Brown's swearing-in on Thursday.
Trump noted at one point that he moved the event – which the president was not originally expected to attend – to the West Wing. The ceremony was initially scheduled to take place in the vice president’s ceremonial office.
“I said this is the big leagues and we have to have you and your family over to celebrate,” Trump said.
Brown was confirmed in a unanimous 98-0 vote by the Senate in June to become the next chief of staff of the Air Force. Brown is the first African American to sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff since Colin PowellColin Luther PowellCivil rights museum to honor Michelle Obama, Poor People's Campaign In Afghanistan, lines between aid and government agendas are blurred The Powell Doctrine could have helped us avoid the Afghanistan debacle MORE served as its chairman from 1989 to 1993.
Brown previously served as the commander of Pacific Air Forces, the air component command of the United States Indo-Pacific Command.
The confirmation comes amid growing unrest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Trump and his administration have faced criticism for their handling of racial injustice protests spurred across the country by Floyd’s death.