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South Georgia Native to Assume Command
Monday, 12 July 2010

July 12--  Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, a Thomasville native, will be the next four-star general in charge of forces in Iraq.

The former Fort Bragg commander's appointment and promotion to four-star general were confirmed by the Senate on Thursday. Austin replaces Gen. Ray Odierno, who will become commander of Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.

Austin, 56, had been serving as director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon since leaving Fort Bragg in August as commander of Fort Bragg and the 18th Airborne Corps.

The first African-American to command a corps in combat, Austin was awarded a Silver Star for his service as assistant division commander of the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq in 2003.

He also spent 15 months as the head of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq from February 2008.

In that role, he was second in command to Gen. David Petraeus and oversaw operations for almost 160,000 people from more than 20 coalition countries. Insurgent attacks dropped 75 percent during his time there.


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