Vice President Mike Pence ceremonially swore in Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown, the Air Force’s next chief of staff, in the Oval Office late Tuesday afternoon.

With his wife, Sharene, by his side and President Trump looking on, Brown — who will be the first Black military service chief in the history of the United States — raised his hand and swore the Oath of Office.

“President @realDonaldTrump & I have every confidence our Air Force will only grow stronger under General Brown’s leadership!” Pence tweeted.

Trump congratulated Brown for achieving the “capper” on his “incredible career,” and quipped that his 98-0 confirmation vote in the Senate was “an achievement.”

Brown will officially take command of the Air Force as its 22nd chief of staff in a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland Thursday morning, at which current Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein will retire.

Before the ceremony, U.S. Surgeon General Vice Adm. Jerome Adams tweeted a photo of he and Brown, both wearing masks, and congratulated him. Adams noted that “whether a General or an Admiral [wearing face masks] is a strong and patriotic look!”

Brown was previously head of Pacific Air Forces, and is a decorated and experienced F-16 pilot.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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