Mar 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden nominates two female generals to oversee four-star commands

Joe Biden wears a suit
President Biden in the White House on March 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden nominated two female generals to oversee four-star commands on Saturday, after their promotions were delayed under former President Trump due to concerns that he "would reject the officers because they were women," the New York Times reports.

The big picture: Pentagon officials delayed recommendations for Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost and Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson until after the 2020 election in November, in a plan brought by former Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Details: Ovost, the only woman of the current 43 four-star admirals and generals in the U.S. military, has been nominated to lead the Transportation Command.

  • Richardson, three-star commander of the Army's Pentagon’s Northern Command, has been nominated to lead military activities in Latin America via the Southern Command.

What they're saying: “They were chosen because they were the best officers for the jobs, and I didn’t want their promotions derailed because someone in the Trump White House saw that I recommended them or thought D.O.D. was playing politics,” Esper told the Times in February, referring to the Defense Department.

  • “This was not the case. They were the best qualified. We were doing the right thing.”
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