In a unanimous 98-0 vote on Tuesday, Senate lawmakers confirmed Gen. Charles Q. Brown as the U.S. Air Force’s 22nd Chief of Staff.  

Gen. Brown, who was previously commander of the Pacific Air Forces, will replace Gen. Dave Goldfein as the service’s top generalreports Defense News.  

“As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds, I see an emerging challenge where our strategic aspirations and our resources available may be on divergent paths, driving future tough choices,” said Gen. Brown in the confirmation hearing.  

The historic confirmation of the United States of America’s first black service member to lead a military branch comes in the wake of nationwide protests highlighting racial inequality and police brutality.  

“I’m thinking about how my nomination provides some hope but also comes with a heavy burden,” said Gen. Brown. “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.” 

Senior Airman Jessica Avallone/U.S. Air Force