Secretary-designate Lloyd Austin is the right person to lead the Department of Defense

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware

Good afternoon.

President-elect Biden and I will take office at a consequential moment for our country.

Even as we work to contain this pandemic and responsibly open our economy, we also need to lead the Defense Department into the future, rebuild and renew global alliances and partnerships, and make sure the United States is prepared to address new threats and new challenges — from cyber to climate.

The fundamental responsibility of our administration — and any administration — is keeping the American people safe and secure.

My whole career has been about keeping Americans safe.

In the United States Senate, I have served on the Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees; traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, where I have seen the extraordinary training, commitment, and heroism of our service members; and proudly represented California — the state with the largest number of active duty military and veterans in our country.

And I am absolutely confident that General Lloyd Austin is the right person to lead the Department of Defense at this critical moment.

We need a proven leader to help address this pandemic, someone with the experience to help make sure safe and effective vaccines are distributed equitably to all.

A leader who will honor the service and sacrifice of those who wear the uniform of the United States, provide for their well-being, and make sure they — and their families — are treated with the dignity and respect they have earned.

And a leader who recognizes that our service members represent America around the world, and must uphold our nation’s highest values and ideals.

General Austin is that leader.

As the president-elect noted, this is a milestone nomination.

A seasoned, highly-decorated, and trailblazing commander, General Austin reflects the very best of our nation.

And President-elect Biden and I will work closely with him — and our entire team of national security and foreign policy leaders — to make sure the United States of America is safer and more secure than ever before.

Throughout America’s history, the United States military has been a home for generations of young men and women dedicated to serving our country, General Austin among them.

With this nomination, he will continue his service, strengthening not only America’s national security, but also our role as a partner to allies around the world. And we couldn’t be more proud.

Thank you.

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Vice President of the United States. Senator, Wife, Momala, Auntie. Fighting for the people. She/her.

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