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Army General Lloyd Austin III in March 2016 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday said he would nominate retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as his defense secretary.

Why it matters: This will be the second consecutive administration to go against the tradition of civilian control at the Department of Defense. Austin, a former commander of U.S. Central Command, would also be the first Black secretary of defense in American history.

  • Austin will require a waiver from Congress, just as Gen. James Mattis did in 2017, because he hasn’t been retired for long enough from active duty.

The big picture: Biden is bringing experienced hands to his Cabinet, with an early emphasis on assembling diverse leaders.

  • Biden made the offer on Sunday, and Austin accepted.

Of note: Austin was the first Black general to command a theater of war in Iraq, the first Black person to serve as the commander of U.S. Central Command, and the first Black American to hold the title of vice chief of staff of the army.

What they're saying: "General Austin shares my profound belief that our nation is at its strongest when we lead not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example..."

  • "I look forward to once again working closely with him as a trusted partner to lead our military with dignity and resolve, revitalize our alliances in the face of global threats, and ensure the safety and security of the American people," Biden said in a statement Tuesday.

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Go deeper

Updated Mar 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden Cabinet tracker: Which nominees have been confirmed

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All of President Biden's Cabinet nominees have now been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The big picture: Biden now has known, trusted people around him, many from the Obama administration, to help implement his policies and turn away from the tumultuous Trump years.

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

Updated 2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.