|By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2012 - President Barack Obama intends to nominate Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, currently the vice chief of staff of the Army, to succeed Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis as the next commander of U.S. Central Command, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced today.
Austin was the final commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, holding that position from Sept. 1, 2010, until the command was disestablished Dec. 18, 2011.
"During his final deployment to Iraq, Gen. Austin led our military efforts at a particularly important time, overseeing the drawdown of U.S. forces and equipment while simultaneously helping to ensure that hard-fought security gains were preserved and that Iraqis could secure and govern themselves," Panetta said.
Austin's previous commands include the 3rd Infantry Division, with whom he earned a Silver Star for valor for actions in the early months of the war in Iraq. He also served as commander of the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan, and as commander of Multinational Corps-Iraq from February 2008 through April 2009.
Mattis has commanded Centcom since Aug. 11, 2010, having previously served as commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command.
"[Mattis] will go down as one of the most celebrated battlefield leaders and strategic military thinkers of our time," Panetta said.Austin's nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.
Leon E. Panetta
Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III
U.S. Central Command
DOD News Release
Friday, December 07, 2012
Obama Intends to Nominate Austin as Centcom Chief
12/06/2012 03:00 PM CST