At a ceremony on Friday where the nation’s highest-ranking military commander transferred the reigns to his successor, Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., President Joe Biden saluted outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley.
The ceremony, which was full of ceremony and spectacle, included Milley swearing in Brown as the 21st chairman. Brown has held the position of Air Force chief of staff in the past.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., whose office announced her passing on Friday at the age of 90, was honored by Biden at the conclusion of his speech.
Biden continued by saying that later on Friday, he will have more to say about the late California senator.
The president also addressed the impending government shutdown, warning that failing to pass a spending bill by the House would be a betrayal to the military who would continue to report for duty without being paid.
Along with Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Milley received a goodbye homage from the military.
After a more than four-decade career that saw Milley hold the offices of Army chief of staff and commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces Command, he was given his retirement certification.
When he said that the nation’s military services swore an oath to the Constitution rather than to a “wannabe dictator,” Milley appeared to be taking a shot at former President Donald Trump.
Last week, Trump took aim at the departing general, writing on social media that Milley would have been put to death “in times gone by” for what he called “treasonous” behavior during the time after the 2020 election, when Trump sought to retain power.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., who has delayed military promotions to protest a Defense Department abortion policy, started a standoff over military nominees that resulted in last month’s 83-11 vote to confirm Milley’s successor.
During his remarks, Biden harshly criticized the nominations hold, calling it “completely, totally unacceptable” and harmful to readiness, morale, and retention.
Austin also urged the Senate during his speech to “swiftly confirm all of our distinguished military nominees,” to which the audience applauded.
In May, Biden declared that he will propose Brown for the position of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, referring to him as a “warrior, descended from a proud line of warriors.”