The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Charles "CQ" Brown as the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking military officer in the United States. Although Joe Biden nominated the now-former Air Force general in May, Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) withheld military promotions for seven months, thus delaying the name of Mark Milley's successor.
With 83 votes in favor and 11 votes against, the Senate elected Milley's replacement, who had assumed his position in October 2019. Republicans who voted against Brown were Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Mike Braun (R-IN), Roger Marshall ( R-KS), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Marco Rubio (R-FL), JD Vance (R-OH) and Tuberville himself.
In addition to being the highest-ranking military officer in the country, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff serves as the principal military advisor to the president, the National Security Council, and the National Security Council.
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 21, 2023
Wednesday's vote was the first military vote since March when Tuberville announced he would halt military nominations. Since then, he has prevented more than 300 promotions from moving forward.
In the Senate, one legislator can delay nominations, even if the other 99 oppose it. The tradition of the Senate dictates that military promotions are grouped and approved by oral vote, thus avoiding long waiting lists. The senator made that decision to protest the new Pentagon policy, which allows the Department to cover travel expenses for service members seeking abortion services.
"It's not about me. It's about the Senate and the Constitution. Today is a victory for the legislative branch. Voting gives all senators a voice for their constituents," said the former American football coach on the Senate floor.
The last heads of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Mark Milley (2019-2023)
Joseph Dunford (2015-2019)
Martin Dempsey (2011-2015)
Michael Mullen (2007-2011)
Peter Pace (2005-2007)
Richard Myers (2001-2005)
Hugh Shelton (1997-2001)
Juan Shalikashvili (1993-1997)
Colin Powell (1989-1993)
William Crowe (1985-1989)
John William Vessey Jr. (1982-1985)