“Lloyd Austin has always led by example, asking nothing of his troops that he would not do himself,” former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said last year when the Lieutenant General received his assignment as commander for U.S. Forces in Iraq. Soon after, the career U.S. Army leader who honed some of his management skills while taking classes at Webster University in Kansas City, would be back in the war zone in Iraq. Now, the commander could soon find himself on another type of front line: serving as the Army’s next vice chief of staff, the second highest uniformed position in the army.
President Barack Obama nominated Austin for the post. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the lieutenant general would be back in the states assisting Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff.
Austin, who received his Master’s in Management from Webster in 1989 has long been a leader in the military. The four-star general was a commander of Fort Bragg and the 18th Airborne Corps. Before his service as commander of the U.S. Forces in Iraq he served as director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. He is also the recipient of the Silver Star for valor as a general officer for leading from the front during the 3rd Infantry Division’s march to Baghdad more than eight years ago.
“Lloyd Austin leads from where he is whether it is on the front line of a battle field or a situation room in the Pentagon,” said Benjamin Akande, dean of the Walker School of Business. ”We are proud that this dedicated alum is able to share his expertise with so many and to make a difference in so many lives.”