4 Star Trailblazer, General L. J. Austin III, US ARMY
America's First African American Defense Secretary
When looking for inspiration and legacy, we're naturally looking back in time. Yet, this blog is inspired by history in the making: the first African American Secretary of Defense of the United States of America. General Lloyd James Austin III, a highly respected and certified bad-ass retired US Army General, was confirmed as the Pentagon chief on the 22nd of January 2021. While this might be a first for America, the man known as “The Silent General” has earned many notable firsts throughout his impressive career through his intelligence, grit and stamina. In addition to all his noble traits, the General wears his custom military ring, which is a personalized ring and that makes him a favorite among the TJR community.
Inspired by many generations of black men and women serving in the military, Lloyd Austin became a cadet at West Point in 1971. At a time when the Pentagon Papers had just come out, this was at a time when it wasn’t really cool to be in the military. However, Austin never backed down on his beliefs and worked tirelessly to improve the nation. He graduated from West Point in 1975, thus starting a tradition of always wearing Military Rings.
Serving as Assistant Division Commander for Maneuver at 3rd ID and spearheading the invasion of Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), he led by example and was noted as one of the best leaders in the campaign. His notable first was when he became the first black commander of the 10th Mtn Division in 2003. Simultaneously, he commanded the Combined Joint Task Force-180, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan. A humble personality combined with strategic brilliance has consistently distinguished General Austin. His ability to talk to his troops, more through actions than words, made him a luminary among his troops. He eventually left the 10th Mtn Division, but in keeping with our motto to “Honor Your Journey®”, he still wears the 10th Mtn Personalized Ring. His legacy is followed by many of his men who leave the 10th physically but carry the unit pride in their hearts and fingers.
General Austin became commander of XVIII Airborne Corps and led the Multi-National Corps – Iraq as the U.S. senior commander. Continuing his long line of success, in 2010, he was appointed as Commander of the United States Forces – Iraq. He supervised the complex task of transferring security to Iraq’s national institutions. The experienced officer then became the first-ever black vice chief of staff of the US ARMY in 2012. He remained humble while supervising the day-to-day administration of the HQ staff and Army's budget while also focusing his energy on reducing suicide rates across the Army.
Another historic milestone for the Black military community was the appointment as the first African American to serve as commander for the U.S. Central Command in 2013. Appointed by President Obama, he assumed the prestigious position's duties by replacing the famous General Jim Mattis, aka Mad Dog.
One of his former Officers, US ARMY CPT Greg Bastien, finds guidance and inspiration in the legendary General even after his retirement. "General Lloyd Austin has an impeccable character and set the example for his soldiers. He has the ability to inspire his team to achieve new levels of success. He never asked his soldiers to do anything he would not challenge himself to complete." Among the General's many quotes, Greg's favorite remains: "men, you have to be harder than woodpecker lips." Retired General Austin is really as hard as they come and has shown this throughout his career, yet he's always reflected positivity.
Retired General Austin has served at the most prominent positions in the U.S. Army and has been consistent throughout. He is a soldier’s soldier and spent a lot of his career at his favorite unit, the 10th Mtn Division. To honor that time, he keeps wearing his 10th Mtn Division Ring to this day.
The Jewelry Republic is marking Black History month with a set of unique designs to honor and pass on the torch to men like the brothers of the 555 Parachute Infantry Regiment.Read our blog about these amazing paratroopers. Check it out here!
Engraved Army Rings are some of the coolest purchases you will ever make, so go ahead and order your 10th Mountain Division Ring or create another custom signet ring of your choice.
Jewelry for every Army Warrior - consider an ARMY Bracelet
Mark the Black History and Honor Your Journey with an Army Black Onyx Bracelet. This unique design is something you can wear with pride and style. We have two versions, both of which are very popular and to be worn with pride, everyday. on the image for additional details.
- 14K Yellow Gold insignia (solid gold casting)
- 925 Sterling Silver 8mm Ball, Lock & Tabs
- .01ct Black Diamond
- Nylon Cord
- 8mm Drilled Natural Gemstones
At the Jewelry Republic, we excel in customized military jewelry, regardless if it is a personalized gift for your loved one or custom signet ring with your beloved military unit logo . Whatever your choice, we live and breathe jewelry and we rock at it!