Before retired Gen. Lloyd Austin's nomination, he was a legend at Fort Bragg

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- Retired Four-Star General Lloyd Austin is considered a legend on Fort Bragg. This nomination is groundbreaking and if he is confirmed, he will be the first African American to lead the Department of Defense.

"I can't think of a better leader than Retired General Lloyd Austin," said Retired Major Army General Rodney Anderson.

He was stationed at Fort Bragg, alongside then Lieutenant Colonel Lloyd Austin. The pair served together in the 82nd Airborne Division on staff. Austin was the operations officer, while Anderson was the staff officer in the late 80's.

"He is just a quiet professional who understands the needs of soldiers and families. He understand how to balance the needs with accomplishing the mission," said Anderson.

Austin is one of only a few African American four-star generals. During his 41-year-long career, he completed several tours on Fort Bragg.

He commanded a brigade in the 82nd Airborne Division and entered their hall of fame in 2019. He was also the 18th Airborne Corps. and Fort Bragg Commander.

While this nomination is historic, it offers hope to service members of color.

"You are hopeful when you see someone who looks like you. It makes it more realistic as you dare to dream to ascend the ladder of the highest heights of our armed forces," said Karen Wrancher, board member with The Rocks, Inc. The organization focuses on building the next generation of leaders in the military worldwide.

According to Wrancher, Austin was a big supporter of the organization and often mentored officers in the military.

"It's like you're looking at a miracle and a dream unfold," said Wrancher.
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