On Friday, September 29, General Mark Milley completed his four-year tenure as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Army. He will be replaced by General Charles Brown, an African-American and former fighter pilot.
According to the Voice of America, the resignation farewell ceremony took place in Virginia.
How General Mark Milley was seen off
In speeches in honor of the retired general, US President Joe Biden and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin talked about Mark Milley's achievements in office, in particular, about helping Ukraine repel Russian aggression.
"Now remember everything that our military has done during Mark Milley's tenure as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We sent the world to help Ukraine repel the Russian imperial invasion," Lloyd Austin said during a solemn speech.
US President Joe Biden stressed that General Milley was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the most difficult time for the security of the whole world.
"It was critical for us to strengthen America's existing alliances from NATO to the Indo-Pacific. The U.S. continues to take terrorists out of the battlefield, to stand with the great Ukrainian people, making sure they get the equipment and support they need to defend their freedom," the U.S. president said.
Mark Milley himself called the American army the most combat-ready in the world and noted that "the enemies know it."
"We supported Ukraine in its fight for freedom against Putin's war of aggression and strengthened the NATO alliance," he said during the speech.
What is General Milley remembered for?
Milley, who is completing his term, is remembered for his role in strengthening the international alliance in support of Ukraine, the controversial withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, as well as his position in the events of January 6, 2022, when the crowd, dissatisfied with the results of the presidential election, stormed the American parliament.
General Milley called the storming of the Capitol an attack on the U.S. Constitution.
"The events of January 6, in my personal opinion, were a terrible day, a tragic day in American history," said the general, who was appointed to the post in 2019 by then-President Donald Trump.
Milley later said the troops were swearing an oath of allegiance to the constitution, not a "desire to become a dictator," referring to Trump
Milley was strongly in favor of supporting Ukraine, but, as his spokesman claimed, "his constant concern in office was to avoid a conflict of great powers."
What is known about Charles Brown
The post of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will be taken by Charles Brown. After Colin Powell in the 1990s, he would become the second African-American to hold such a high post in the U.S. Army.
Brown was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force in 1984 and is an experienced pilot with over 3000,130 hours of flight time, <> of them in combat.
He commanded a fighter squadron and two air wings, as well as the U.S. Air Force under Central Command and Indo-Pacific Command, and served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force.
After the murder of black George Floyd by a white police officer in Minnesota in 2020, Brown recorded an emotional video about his personal experiences, including discrimination in the US military.
Taking office, Brown told the audience that his goal would be to deter aggression and "fight when you have to." He said the U.S. Army "should focus on modernization" with new concepts and approaches.
After Brown's appointment, two black Americans will hold the highest positions in the Pentagon for the first time.
Earlier, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi held a final telephone conversation with US General Mark Milley.