The U.S. military must accelerate development and quicken moves to build a joint force ready for the challenges of tomorrow, Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown told the Senate Armed Services Committee July 11, 2023.
Brown testified before the committee as part of the confirmation process to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. If confirmed, Brown would be the 21st man to hold the position and the first airman since Richard B. Myers stepped down from the post in 2005. He would also be the second African American in the position. Army Gen. Colin L. Powell served as chairman from 1989 to 1993.
If confirmed, Brown would succeed Army Gen. Mark A. Milley in the position.
“I come before you today, having served the last three years as a service and joint chief,” Brown said in his opening remarks to the committee. “But for the 11 years prior, I served in seven assignments across four combatant commands.” The general served in the European Command, Africa Command, Central Command and Indo-Pacific Command.
“I’ve held leadership positions focused on our five national security challenges: China, Russia, North Korea, Iran and violent extremists,” he said.
Brown’s experience is with fielded forces and dealing with allies and partners. “Having led to warfighters abroad [has] shaped my thinking,” he said. “As a result, I’m mindful of the security challenges at this consequential time and a need to accelerate to stay ahead of the growing threat.”
The U.S. military is the most powerful in the world today, but leaders must make changes to ensure DOD can “implement the National Defense Strategy and prepare a joint force that can win the next war if called upon.”
A prepared and capable joint force, simply, is the guarantor of deterrence and the key to peace, he told the committee.