On Friday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin released his “day one message” via the Pentagon to all Department of Defense employees. It was short, contained no flash or ten-dollar words, and was straight to the point. It was, in many ways, much like the man himself.
During his time as CENTCOM Commander, Austin was often referred to as “the invisible general,” not because he was absent but because he eschewed the media spotlight and would not talk openly about military matters. He is known to be very private and sometimes even speaks of himself in the third person as if Austin the man and Austin the general are two different people. He is a devout Catholic and has been married to his wife for 40 years.
Austin has spent the vast majority of his life in uniform. Since graduating from West Point, Austin’s assignments have been with historic and revered units like the 3rd Infantry, the 82nd Airborne, and the 10th Mountain Divisions. He has served at the Pentagon and as vice chief of staff of the Army. He was commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and led CENTCOM.
Though I have never met the man, nor had the pleasure to serve under him, I think it’s safe to assume that he bleeds O.D. green.