Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. testifies during a Senate Armed Services hearing on May 7. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate unanimously confirmed Gen. Charles "CQ" Brown Jr. as Air Force chief of staff in a historic vote presided over by Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Brown, the commander of Pacific Air Forces, is the first African American chief of a military service branch in U.S. history and will sit on the elite Joint Chiefs of Staff.

  • Gen. Colin Powell, an African American four-star general who served in multiple administrations, served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993.

The big picture: In the midst of mass upheaval over the killing of George Floyd and the treatment of black Americans by police, Brown reflected in a viral video message last week about his position as one of only two African American four-star generals currently serving in the U.S. military.

  • "Here’s what I’m thinking about: I’m thinking about how full I am with emotion — not just for George Floyd, but the many African Americans that have suffered the same fate as George Floyd.”
  • "I'm thinking about ... the equality expressed in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that I’ve sworn my adult life to support and defend. I’m thinking about a history of racial issues and my own experiences that didn’t always sing of liberty and equality.”
  • "I'm thinking about a history of racial issues and my own experiences that didn't always sing of liberty and equality. I'm thinking about living in two worlds, each with their own perspective and views."
  • "I’m thinking about wearing the same flight suit, with the same wings on my chest as my peers, and then being questioned by another military member: ‘Are you a pilot?’"

What's next: Brown will be tasked with getting the Space Force program up and running, the New York Times reports.

Go deeper

Updated 46 mins ago - Science

Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in North Carolina

People walk through floodwaters on Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Monday. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Hurricane Isaias made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Ocean Isle Beach in southern North Carolina at 11:10 p.m. ET Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, per the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

What's happening: Hurricane conditions were spreading onto the coast of eastern South Carolina and southeastern N.C., the NHC said in an 11 p.m. update. Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT News the eye of the storm triggered "a series of fires at homes" and "a lot of flooding." Fire authorities confirmed they were responding to "multiple structure fires in the area."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 18,224,253 — Total deaths: 692,679 — Total recoveries — 10,865,548Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 4,713,500 — Total deaths: 155,401 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

Exclusive: Trump declines to praise John Lewis, citing inauguration snub

President Trump dismissed the legacy of the late Rep. John Lewis in an interview with “Axios on HBO,” saying only that Lewis made a “big mistake” by not coming to his inauguration.

The big picture: Trump's comments were a glaring contrast with the praise Republicans and Democrats showered upon Lewis this week, and a default to personal grudges during a week of mourning for a civil rights hero.