President Joe Biden nominated two female generals to higher ranks of the armed forces, advancing the promotions that were held up under the Trump administration, Military.com reports.
The Pentagon announced Saturday that the White House nominated Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost to head U.S. Transportation Command, and Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson to head U.S. Southern command and to receive her fourth star.
The promotions of the two women were delayed by the Pentagon until after Trump left office because officials were concerned that Trump would deny the qualified nominees their promotions because he had desire to have people in roles that met his “Hollywood” stereotypes of military leaders: white and male.
According to a February report by the New York Times, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley “feared that any candidates other than white men for jobs mostly held by white men might run into turmoil once their nominations reached the White House.”
“They were chosen because they were the best officers for the jobs, and I didn’t want their promotions derailed because someone in the Trump White House saw that I recommended them or thought [the Defense Department] was playing politics,” Esper told the Times after he was fired in November. “This was not the case. They were the best qualified. We were doing the right thing.”