Set to Lead CENTCOM, Gen. Lloyd Austin ’89 Welcomes Webster Leaders

| February 18, 2013

Webster University President Beth Stroble (center) and Provost and Chief Operating Officer Julian Schuster (left) met with Webster alumnus Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, in his office at the Pentagon during the week of his confirmation hearing to lead CENTCOM. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller

It was a big week for Webster University alumnus Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III (MA ’89).

The Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army, who was nominated in December by President Barack Obama to lead United Stated Central Command (CENTCOM), testified Feb. 14 before the Senate on Capitol Hill as part of the confirmation process to assume this leadership position.

Prior to the hearings, the four-star general welcomed the leadership of his alma mater to Washington, D.C. During their annual visit to legislative representatives, federal departments, professional associations, alumni and local embassies in the national capital, Webster University President Beth Stroble, Provost, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Julian Schuster, and Carolyn Corley, associate vice president, Development & Alumni Programs, met with Gen. Austin Feb. 11 in his office at the Pentagon.

Gen. Austin graduated from Webster’s Kansas City campus location with a master’s degree in management in 1989, while he was attending the United States Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Upon his nomination, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called Gen. Austin “one of the military’s most seasoned combat leaders.”

In addition to wishing him well heading into his confirmation hearing, the Webster leaders had another reason for paying Gen. Austin a visit: He was the recipient of the Webster University 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award. The general originally planned to receive the award on campus at Webster’s annual Alumni Awards Gala in St. Louis last September, but responsibilities as Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army prevented him from attending.

Last week, Stroble presented Austin with his award and talked with him about his and other service members’ Webster experience.

“It was an honor to meet with this distinguished Webster University alumnus during such an important week for him,” Stroble said. “Members of our university community have proudly watched Gen. Austin’s career success  unfold. He is a powerful example of how Webster serves military students, who in turn provide leadership that impacts those they lead and the country’s future.”

Pending a Senate confirmation vote, Gen. Austin will head CENTCOM and oversee the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan. He will be the first African-American general to lead U.S. Central Command. His previous assignment before becoming the Vice Chief of Staff was as the last Commanding General of the United States Forces – Iraq, Operation New Dawn, which lasted until Dec.15, 2011.

Gen. Austin was a commander of Fort Bragg and the 18thAirborne 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.

Photo credit: U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller, used with permission

Category: Advancement, Webster News

Comments (2)

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  1. jennifer gammage says:

    Very exciting!!!!

  2. Janice Neal says:

    This is a very proud Webster moment. My 20 year old nephew is currently in boot camp at Ft. Jackson and I plan to mail this article to encourage him. General Austin is a great example.