Brown formally installed as 22nd Air Force Chief of Staff

Proclaiming himself “proud, yet humbled,” Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. was officially installed Aug. 6 as the Air Force’s 22nd Chief of Staff, becoming the first African American in history to lead a military service as its highest ranking officer.

In remarks following the formal “Change of Responsibility” ceremony in which he took over from retiring Gen. David L. Goldfein, the 21st Chief of Staff, Brown acknowledged an array of people who influenced his life. Among them were his wife, Sharene, and his parents, as well as a list of Air Force colleagues, including Goldfein and other “extraordinary leaders.”

Yet, cognizant of the moment in history, Brown also noted, “Today is possible due to the perseverance of those who went before me serving as an inspiration to me and many others.

“Those like the Tuskegee Airmen, Benjamin O. Davis Jr., Chappie James, African American leaders across our Air Force and military, past and present, to include today’s special guest, Ed Dwight, America’s first African American astronaut candidate,” he said.

“It is due to their trials and tribulations in breaking barriers that I can address you today as the Air Force Chief of Staff.”

Brown, who previously served as commander of Pacific Air Forces, was elevated to his new assignment during a solemn, socially distanced, 90-minute ceremony that focused on his achievements while also honoring Goldfein’s 37-year service in the Air Force and his four years as chief of staff.

Among those paying tribute were Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Department of the Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley. The ceremony also honored Goldfein as Esper presented him with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.

Esper honored Dawn Goldfein as well, presenting her with the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett administers the oath of office to incoming Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. during the CSAF Transfer of Responsibility ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 6, 2020. Brown is the 22nd Chief of Staff of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett administers the oath of office to incoming Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. during the CSAF Transfer of Responsibility ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 6, 2020. Brown is the 22nd Chief of Staff of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark)

The Air Force Honor Guard performs a pass in review in front of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 6, 2020. Brown replaced Gen. David L. Goldfein as the 22nd chief of staff. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

The Air Force Honor Guard performs a pass in review in front of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 6, 2020. Brown replaced Gen. David L. Goldfein as the 22nd chief of staff. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. salutes Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 6, 2020. Brown replaced Gen. David L. Goldfein as the 22nd chief of staff. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. salutes Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett during a transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 6, 2020. Brown replaced Gen. David L. Goldfein as the 22nd chief of staff. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Sharene Brown, spouse of incoming Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., presents the official Air Force Chief of Staff service cap to her husband during the CSAF transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 6, 2020. Brown is the 22nd Chief of Staff of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Trujillo)

Sharene Brown, spouse of incoming Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., presents the official Air Force Chief of Staff service cap to her husband during the CSAF transition ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 6, 2020. Brown is the 22nd Chief of Staff of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Trujillo)

Incoming Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. speaks during the CSAF Transfer of Responsibility ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 6, 2020. Brown is the 22nd Chief of Staff of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark)

Incoming Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. speaks during the CSAF Transfer of Responsibility ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 6, 2020. Brown is the 22nd Chief of Staff of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wayne Clark)

/U.S. Air Force Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.