Father: Lloyd James Austin Jr., postal worker
Mother: Aletia Taylor Austin, homemaker
Marriage: Charlene Denise (Banner) Austin (early 1980s-present)
Children: Reginald Hill (stepson); Christopher Hill (stepson)
Education: United States Military Academy, B.S., 1975; Auburn University, M.E., counselor education, 1986; Webster University, M.A., management and leadership, 1989; War Army College (1996-1997 attended)
Military service: US Army, 1975-2016, four-star general
Has achieved many firsts:
- The first African American secretary of defense.
- The first African American to serve as vice chief of staff of the Army.
- The first African American to lead US Central Command.
- The first African American to lead an Army corps in combat.
- The first African American commanding general of a US Army Division.
Awarded numerous decorations for his military service, including five Defense Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star for bravery in combat and two Legions of Merit.
Has served on a number of boards of directors including Nucor Corporation, Tenet Healthcare Corporation and United Technologies (now known as Raytheon Technologies Corporation following a 2020 merger).
Served on the board of trustees of Auburn University and Carnegie Corporation of New York.
An athlete in high school, he was captain of his varsity basketball team.
1975 – Austin is commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army upon graduation from West Point. Over the next 20 years, he holds a number of leadership positions and is stationed at bases in North Carolina, Indianapolis, New York, Germany and Panama.
1997-1999 – Commander, 3rd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
1999-2001 – Chief, Joint Operations Division, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.
2003-2005 – Commanding general, 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, New York. Includes Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq.
2005-2006 – Chief of staff, US Central Command, Unified Combat Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.
2006-2009 – Commanding general, XVIII Airborne Corps and Commander, Multi-National Corps; Operation Iraqi Freedom.
2009-2010 – Office of the Director, Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Department of Defense, Washington, D.C.
2010 – He is promoted to four-star general.
2010-2011 – Commanding general, US Forces-Iraq, US Central Command, Operation New Dawn.
March 2013-March 2016 – Commander, US Central Command.
2016 – Founds the Austin Strategy Group, LLC., with Austin as owner and president. Later declares in a US Office of Government Ethics filing that the consulting business will remain dormant upon his 2021 confirmation as defense secretary.
September 2020-January 22, 2021 – Partner at investment firm Pine Island Capital Partners.