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Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin: Age, wife, children, health and more

Lloyd Austin is an American politician and retired United States Army four-star general who is serving as the 28th United States secretary of defense since January 22, 2021.

Before retiring from the military in 2016, Austin served as the 12th commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM), beginning in March 2013.

Prior to that he served as the 33rd vice chief of staff of the Army from January 2012 to March 2013, and as commander of United States Forces – Iraq from September 2010 to December 2011.

He is the first African American to hold each of these positions. After retiring from the armed services Austin joined the boards of Raytheon Technologies, Nucor, Tenet Healthcare, and Auburn University.

Lloyd Austin
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin attends a welcome ceremony before an annual security meeting with South Korean Defence Minister Shin Won-sik at the Defence Ministry in Seoul, South Korea on November 13, 2023. JUNG YEON-JE/Pool via REUTERS

On December 7, 2020, he was nominated for defense secretary by then-President-elect Joe Biden and was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 22, 2021, by a vote of 93–2.

Austin holds the unique distinction of having commanded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan at the one-, two-, three- and four-star levels, and was the first African American to command a division, corps, and field army in combat.

He is a recipient of the Silver Star, the nation’s third highest award for valor, for his actions during the Iraq invasion, as well as five Defense Distinguished Service Medals.

Lloyd Austin Age

Lloyd James Austin III, the current United States Secretary of Defense, was born on August 8, 1953, making him 70 years old.

Lloyd Austin Wife

Lloyd Austin wife
Lloyd Austin and wife Charlene Denise Banner Austin

Lloyd married Charlene Austin four decades ago. The pair met at Auburn University, the college from which they both graduated.

Charlene is a national advisor for the Military Child Education Coalition and is also a board member of the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University.

She also provided volunteer consulting to local and national non-profit organizations from 2009 to 2016.

Charlene also serves on the Board of Governance for United Way Suncoast based in Tampa Florida and the Advisory Committee for the United Way Suncoast – Mission United Project.

She has been recognized for her work in public service and was awarded in 2013 the Secretary of the Army Public Service Award for her contributions to the community.

Austin has previously praised Charlene for her work and dedicating “her time and energy to the care and sustainment of military families.”

Lloyd Austin Children

Lloyd Austin and his wife Charlene do not have any biological children together.

However, they share a close-knit family with their stepsons. Lloyd reportedly has two stepsons who live in Great Falls, Virginia.

Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin health

Lloyd Austin
US Army Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin III sits at the witness table during a Senate Armed Services Committee on Military Nominations hearing for his pending reappointment to be general and commander of United States Forces-Iraq in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 24, 2010. AFP PHOTO/ROD LAMKEY JR (Photo credit should read ROD LAMKEY JR/AFP via Getty Images)

Lloyd Austin, 70, returned to the hospital on Sunday due to symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue, Walter Reed National Medical Center said in a statement.

He was placed in the critical care unit after a series of tests, it added, and on Monday underwent non-surgical procedures under general anesthesia to address his bladder issue. The nature of this medical issue has not been fully disclosed.

The hospital said in a statement that a successful recovery is anticipated and that Austin will be closely monitored overnight.

Neither the hospital nor the Pentagon have said whether Austin’s latest health issue was a further complication from his original prostate cancer diagnosis and surgery or was a new condition.

While it remained unclear how long Secretary Austin would remain hospitalized, the hospital said a prolonged stay “is not anticipated.” The hospital also said it is anticipated that Austin will be able to resume his normal duties on Tuesday.

His official duties were transferred on Sunday to the Pentagon’s No. 2 official, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.

Austin canceled a planned trip to Brussels this week for a meeting of NATO defense ministers. His participation in a virtual Ukraine defense meeting is also tentative, depending on his health status, officials said.

“The current bladder issue is not expected to change his anticipated full recovery. His cancer prognosis remains excellent,” the hospital said.

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Simon Kabutey
Simon Kabutey
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