President Joe Biden struggled to name of his Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, during an event marking International Women’s Day at the White House on Monday.
Biden spoke at a White House event highlighting his nomination of two women General Officers for positions as four-star Combatant Commanders — Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost and Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson.
“So I want to thank you both, and I want to thank the sec… the former general, I keep calling him general but my… my, uh… the guy who runs that outfit over there,” Biden said as he wrapped up his speech.
Austin served as a general in the Army and was nominated by Biden to be the first black Secretary of Defense.
Biden concluded, “I want to make sure we thank the secretary for all he’s done to try to implement what we just talked about.”
Austin, who was present for the event, spoke about Biden’s and Vice President Kamala Harris’s celebration of the historic nominations.
“Both of you lead by example, and the example that you set in all things is one of inclusiveness,” Austin said, praising Biden and Harris. “You know that diversity of our nation makes us stronger, and that diversity in our military ranks makes us better at defending the American people.”
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