Austin Outlines His Top Three Priorities on Defense, People, Teamwork

Austin Outlines His Top Three Priorities on Defense, People, Teamwork
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has announced his top three priorities for the Defense Department: to develop the right people, priorities and purpose of mission. According to a memorandum from his office, the mission is to continue to defend the nation from enemies, foreign and domestic.

"This will require aligning our priorities and capabilities to a changing and dynamic threat landscape," the secretary said in the memo. "We will do so in a way that is based on a sober assessment of our strategic needs and recognize the importance of building and sustaining a strong workforce and unity within our department, across the nation and with our allies and partners around the world."

Austin's three priorities — defending the nation, taking care of our people and succeeding through teamwork — will guide our efforts, he emphasized. Following are the priorities under his leadership:


  • Defeating COVID-19 is the greatest proximate challenge to our nation's security. The DOD will continue to act boldly and quickly to support federal government efforts to defeat the disease, defend the force against it and work with our domestic and international partners to protect our nation from potential novel and deadly viruses of the future. The  DOD will continue to give direct support to the government’s vaccination efforts and encourage military personnel to get the vaccine to remain ready to protect the nation globally. Both challenges demand an aggressive DOD effort to inform and educate people about protective measures and the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.

  • Prioritize China as the Pacing Challenge: This is DOD's No. 1 pacing challenge, and it will develop operational concepts, capabilities and plans to bolster deterrence and maintain it ..