Charles Q. Brown Jr.

Summary

Charles Quinton Brown Jr.[1] (born 1962) is a United States Air Force four-star general who serves as the 22nd chief of staff of the Air Force. He is the first African American to be appointed as chief of staff and the first African American to lead any branch of the United States Armed Forces. Brown assumed office from Gen. David L. Goldfein, who had served as chief of staff since 2016, in a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews on 6 August 2020.

Charles Q. Brown Jr.
CQ Brown CSAF 2020.jpg
General Charles Q. Brown Jr. in 2020
Nickname(s)CQ
Born1962 (age 59–60)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Air Force
Years of service1985–present
RankGeneral
Commands heldChief of Staff of the Air Force
Pacific Air Forces
United States Air Forces Central Command
31st Fighter Wing
8th Fighter Wing
USAF Weapons School
78th Fighter Squadron
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (4)
SignatureCharles Q. Brown Jr. signature.jpg

Brown's previous assignments include serving as the commander of Pacific Air Forces, air component commander for United States Indo-Pacific Command, and executive director of the Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff. As the air component commander for CENTCOM, he was responsible for developing contingency plans and conducting air operations in a 20-nation area covering Central and Southwest Asia.[2] Brown also previously served as the deputy commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM), MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, and prior to that, as commander of Air Forces Central.

In 2020, Brown was named by Time magazine on its list of the 100 most influential people in the world.[3]

Early life and educationEdit

 
Lieutenant Charles Q. Brown Jr., receiving his wings, c. 1985.

Charles Quinton Brown Jr. was born in 1962 to a military family in San Antonio, Texas. Brown was nicknamed "CQ". He had one sister. His father, Charles Q. Brown. Sr, served for 30 years in the Army, rising to the rank of colonel. His paternal grandfather, Robert E. Brown, was drafted in World War II and served in the Pacific Theater in Hawaii and Saipan.

Brown graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering.[4][5] He joined the Eta Upsilon chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Brown was also a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant after completing this ROTC program and began his formal military career.

While serving in the Air Force, in 1994, Brown earned a master's degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Military careerEdit

 
Lieutenant General Charles Q. Brown Jr. with General Lloyd Austin during the Ninth Air Force change of command ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, June 29, 2015.
 
Lieutenant General Brown, as AFCENT commander, helps cut the opening ribbon at Dubai Air Show 2015.
 
Lieutenant General Brown flying an F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Brown has served in a variety of positions at the squadron and wing level, including an assignment to the United States Air Force Weapons School as an F-16 instructor. His notable staff tours include aide-de-camp to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force; director, Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff Executive Action Group; and deputy director, operations, U.S. Central Command. He also served as a national defense fellow at the Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, Virginia.[2]

Brown has commanded a fighter squadron, the United States Air Force Weapons School, and two fighter wings. One was the 8th Fighter Wing, which was nicknamed as "Wolf Pack", at Kunsan Air Force Base, South Korea. Prior to his current assignment, he served as director, operations, strategic deterrence, and nuclear integration, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe—Air Forces Africa, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He is a command pilot with more than 2,900 flying hours, including 130 combat hours.[2]

Brown's career as a general officer began when he was appointed as commander of the 31st Fighter wing in Aviano Air Force Base, Italy. He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in June 2009. In May 2013, Brown was promoted to the rank of major general when he was appointed as deputy commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, U.S. Central Command. In March 2014 he was appointed as director of operations, strategic deterrence, and nuclear integration of U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa at Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany.[6][7]

In June 2015, Brown received his third star when he was appointed as United States Air Forces Central Command (USAFCENT). In July 2016 he was appointed as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command. As AFCENT commander, Brown oversaw all of Air Force operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, while also in-charge as second-in-command of USCENTCOM.[7][6]

In July 2018, Brown was nominated to succeed General Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy as commander of Pacific Air Forces. O'Shaughnessy was nominated to become commander of the United States Northern Command. Brown was also promoted to four-star general with this position. As PACAF commander, General Brown oversaw all of major United States Air Force operations within the Indo-Pacific region.[8]

Air Force Chief of StaffEdit

 
Vice President Mike Pence ceremonially swears in Brown as the 22nd chief of staff of the United States Air Force in the Oval Office, August 4, 2020. Brown officially took office two days later in a separate ceremony at Joint Base Andrews.

On 2 March 2020, the White House announced that President Donald Trump would nominate Brown to become the next Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, succeeding David L. Goldfein.[9] On 9 June 2020, Brown was unanimously confirmed (98–0) by the United States Senate to succeed Goldfein as Chief of Staff of the US Air Force. With this confirmation he became the first African American to lead a branch of the United States Armed Forces.[10] As Air Force Chief of Staff, he advises the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council regarding Air Force matters.

InitiativesEdit

Brown is the most senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for organizing, training and equipping all of the active-duty Air Force officers, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

Brown has acted to establish a flexible logistics system in the Air Force's budget for Fiscal year 2021, in order to ensure the Air Force is capable of conducting "expeditionary logistics under attack".[11]

 
General Brown piloting a Boeing KC-46A Pegasus.

Brown has maintained Goldfein's prioritization of multi-domain command and control following the Air Force Association's 2016 Air, Space & Cyber Conference.[11] Following the establishment of the United States Space Force, which is also part of the Department of the Air Force, Brown worked closely with the first Chief of Space Operations General Jay Raymond. Brown has said that the Space Force will make up much of the Air Force department's "near-term innovation and development". He has emphasized the importance of space superiority and committed to a full collaboration between the Air Force and Space Force.[11]

 
General Brown at Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., on November 12, 2020.

As Air Force Chief of Staff, Brown began integration of the new tanker aircraft, Boeing KC-46 Pegasus, as part of Air Force fleet rejuvenation, and began its operation within Air Mobility Command. Brown and several Congressional delegation members, including U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a longtime advocate for the tanker, participated in a demonstration flight at Joint Base Andrews.[12][13]

General Brown was featured during the 2021 African-American History Month for making history as the first African-American military chief of staff and the first African American who has led any military branch within the United States Armed Forces. General Lloyd Austin, the first African American to serve as a United States Secretary of Defense, was also featured.[14][15][5] Brown was made an honorary Tuskegee Airman, receiving the symbolic red jacket in a ceremony on 14 August 2021.[16]

General Brown is considered a strong contender to succeed General Mark Milley as the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[17]

EducationEdit

 
General Charles Q. Brown Jr. with Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff Air Chief Marshal Yuyu Sutisna during a visit to Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • 1984 Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock
  • 1991 U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada
  • 1992 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
  • 1994 Master of Aeronautical Science degree, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida
  • 1997 Distinguished graduate, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
  • 2000 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
  • 2004 National Defense Fellow, Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, Virginia
  • 2008 AF Senior Leadership Course, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, North Carolina
  • 2012 Joint Force Air Component Commander Course, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
  • 2014 Joint Flag Officer Warfighting Course, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
  • 2015 Pinnacle Course, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
  • 2017 Leadership at the Peak, Center for Creative Leadership, Colorado Springs, Colo.[2]

AssignmentsEdit

  • May 1985 – April 1986, student, undergraduate pilot training, 82nd Student Squadron, Williams AFB, Arizona
  • May 1986 – July 1986, student, lead-in fighter training, 434th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, Holloman, AFB, New Mexico
  • August 1986 – March 1987, student, F-16 training, 62nd Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, MacDill AFB, Florida
  • April 1987 – October 1988, F-16 pilot, 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea
  • November 1988 – April 1991, F-16 instructor pilot, wing electronic combat officer, and wing standardization and evaluation flight examiner, 307th and 308th Tactical Fighter Squadrons, Homestead AFB, Florida
  • April 1991 – August 1991, student, U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nevada
  • August 1991 – August 1992, F-16 squadron weapons officer and flight commander of 307th Fighter Squadron, Homestead AFB, Florida
  • September 1992 – October 1994, weapons school instructor, and standardization and evaluation flight examiner, F-16 Division, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nevada
  • October 1994 – July 1996, aide-de-camp to the chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Virginia
  • August 1996 – June 1997, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
  • June 1997 – September 1997, student, Armed Forces Staff College, National Defense University, Norfolk, Virginia
  • September 1997 – November 1999, air operations officer, Current Operations Division, Operations Directorate, U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB, Florida
  • November 1999 – June 2003, F-16CJ instructor pilot and assistant operations officer, 79th Fighter Squadron; weapons and training flight commander, 20th Operations Support Squadron; operations officer, 55th Fighter Squadron; and commander of 78th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, South Carolina
  • July 2003 – June 2004, National Defense Fellow, Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, Virginia
  • June 2004 – June 2005, deputy chief of Program Integration Division, Directorate of Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Virginia
  • July 2005 – May 2007, commandant, USAF Weapons School, 57th Wing, Nellis AFB, Nevada
  • May 2007 – May 2008, commander, 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan AB, South Korea
  • June 2008 – May 2009, director of Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff Executive Action Group, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Virginia
  • June 2009 – April 2011, commander, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano AB, Italy
  • May 2011 – May 2013, deputy director of Operations Directorate, U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB, Florida
  • May 2013 – February 2014, deputy commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command; deputy, Combined Force Air Component Commander, U.S. Central Command, Southwest Asia
  • March 2014 – June 2015, director of operations, strategic deterrence, and nuclear integration, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa, Ramstein AB, Germany
  • June 2015 – July 2016, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command; Combined Force Air Component Commander, U.S. Central Command, Southwest Asia
  • July 2016 – July 2018, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB, Florida
  • July 2018 – July 2020, commander of Pacific Air Forces; Air Component Commander for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; and executive director of Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii[2]
  • August 2020 – present, chief of staff, United States Air Force, Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia

Summary of joint assignmentsEdit

  • September 1997–November 1999, air operations officer, Current Operations Division, Operations Directorate, U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, as a major
  • May 2011–May 2013, deputy director of Operations Directorate, U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB, Florida, as a brigadier general
  • July 2016–July 2018, deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB, Florida, as a lieutenant general
  • July 2018–August 2020, commander of Pacific Air Forces; Air Component Commander for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; and executive director of Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, as a general

Flight informationEdit

Rating: Command pilot.
Flight hours: more than 2,900, including 130 combat hours.
Aircraft flown: F-16A/B/C/D, AC-130U, AH-64, AT-38, B-1B, B-2A, B-52H, C-130J, E-8C, HH-60G, KC-135, MV-22, T-37, T-38 and two more fixed-wing or rotary-wing aircraft.[2]

Awards and decorationsEdit

Brown has received the following awards and decorations:[2]

Personal decorations
 
 
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster
  Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
  Defense Superior Service Medal
     Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters
  Bronze Star Medal
  Defense Meritorious Service Medal
    Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
  Aerial Achievement Medal
  Joint Service Commendation Medal
    Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Unit awards
 
 
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
      Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters
    Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with two oak leaf clusters
Service awards
  Combat Readiness Medal
Campaign and service medals
 
 
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star
  Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
  Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  Korea Defense Service Medal
Service, training, and marksmanship awards
  Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal
  Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon
 
 
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold frame and oak leaf cluster
      Air Force Longevity Service Award with one silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters
  Air Force Training Ribbon
Foreign awards
  Order of National Security Merit Sam-Il Medal (Republic of Korea)
  NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia
Other accoutrements
  US Air Force Command Pilot Badge
  Philippine Air Force Gold Wings Badge (May 2019)[18]
  Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
  Headquarters Air Force Badge

Effective dates of promotionEdit

Insignia Rank Date
  General July 26, 2018
  Lieutenant general June 29, 2015
  Major general July 3, 2013
  Brigadier general Nov. 20, 2009
  Colonel June 1, 2005
  Lieutenant colonel July 1, 1999
  Major Aug. 1, 1996
  Captain Feb. 28, 1989
  First lieutenant Feb. 28, 1987
  Second lieutenant Feb. 28, 1985


ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Commencement Texas Tech University 1984
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "General Charles Q. Brown Jr". Retrieved 2019-01-11.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ "General Charles Q. Brown Jr: The 100 Most Influential People of 2020". Time. Retrieved 2020-09-23.
  4. ^ "He proved the sky's the limit for Black airmen". Dallas News. 2020-12-21. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  5. ^ a b "Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Brown Jr. Opens Up About Emotional Talks on Race with His Sons". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  6. ^ a b "GENERAL CHARLES Q. BROWN, JR". www.af.mil. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  7. ^ a b "General Charles Q. Brown, JR". www.defense.gov. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  8. ^ "Pentagon taps Central Command deputy to lead Pacific Air Forces". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  9. ^ "General Officer Announcement". U.S. Department of Defense. 2020-03-02. Retrieved 2020-03-03.
  10. ^ "Senate confirms Brown to be 22nd Air Force chief of staff on unanimous vote". U.S. Air Force. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  11. ^ a b c "The Next CSAF Lays Out Top Priorities". Air Force Magazine. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  12. ^ Lenahan, Ian. "Sen. Shaheen takes flight with Pease 157th Air Refueling Wing". Seacoastonline.com. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  13. ^ "Air Mobility Command to Start Integrating KC-46 Into Limited Operations". Air Force Magazine. 2021-02-24. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  14. ^ "Celebrating African American Military Milestones – The Beacon". Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  15. ^ Bostick, Thomas. "Black History Is American History". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  16. ^ Serrano, Stephanie (2021-08-18). "Brown named honorary Tuskegee Airman, receives symbolic red jacket". U.S. Air Force. Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs.
  17. ^ Hitchens, Theresa. "CSAF Brown On Deck For Joint Chiefs Chair: RUMINT". Breaking Defense. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  18. ^ "U.S. Pacific Air Forces Commander's Visit to Manila Enhances Partnership with Philippine Air Force". U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. May 17, 2019.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Walter D. Givhan
Director of the United States Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force Executive Action Group
2008–2009
Succeeded by
J. Marcus Hicks
Preceded by Commander of the 31st Fighter Wing
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Scott J. Zobrist
Preceded by
James J. Jones
Deputy Director of Operations of the United States Central Command
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Commander of the United States Air Forces Central Command
2013–2014
Succeeded by
Jeffrey G. Lofgren
Preceded by
James W. Hyatt
Director of Operations, Strategic Deterrence, and Nuclear Integration of the United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa
2014–2015
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John W. Hesterman III
Commander of the United States Air Forces Central Command
2015–2016
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Commander of the United States Central Command
2016–2018
Succeeded by
Preceded by Commander of the Pacific Air Forces
2018–2020
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
2020–present
Incumbent
Order of precedence
Preceded byas Chief of Space Operations Order of precedence of the United States
as Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
Succeeded byas Chief of the National Guard Bureau