President Biden intends to appoint Gen. Charles Q. Brown, the Air Drive chief of workers, on Thursday to change into the nation’s most senior navy officer, formalizing what had been one of many worst saved secrets and techniques in Washington.

If confirmed by the Senate, Basic Brown can be solely the second Black man, after Colin L. Powell, to carry the job of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers, the senior navy adviser to the president.

Basic Brown would succeed Gen. Mark A. Milley, whose time period has spanned 4 tumultuous years that encompassed efforts by President Donald J. Trump to make use of active-duty troops towards American protesters; the riots on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021; the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan; and the conflict in Ukraine.

Basic Brown’s affirmation would additionally imply that together with Protection Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, the highest two Pentagon leaders can be Black males for the primary time in historical past.

The White Home mentioned Mr. Biden would announce the nomination within the Rose Backyard on Thursday afternoon.

Basic Brown, who has intensive expertise within the Center East and Asia, would be part of Mr. Austin in advising Mr. Biden on nationwide safety issues from the conflict in Ukraine to China’s navy expansionism within the Asia-Pacific area. A senior administration official who spoke on situation of anonymity mentioned Basic Brown was deeply educated concerning the challenges posed by China and that he had a powerful consciousness of NATO’s capabilities and views.

The 2 males would additionally characterize the Pentagon at congressional hearings, earlier than typically hostile Republican lawmakers who’ve complained that the Protection Division has change into too “woke.”

As an example, Senator Tommy Tuberville, Republican of Alabama, complained throughout a radio interview this month that the Biden administration’s efforts to broaden range within the navy have been weakening the pressure. “We’re dropping within the navy, so quick, our readiness when it comes to recruitment,” Mr. Tuberville mentioned. “And why? I’ll inform you why. As a result of the Democrats are attacking our navy, saying we have to get out the white extremists, the white nationalists.”

He mentioned that whereas Democrats contemplate white nationalists to be racists, “I name them People.”

In appointing one other African American man to a senior Pentagon place, Mr. Biden could also be establishing a contentious interval on Capitol Hill. However the president can also be recasting the characters in {a photograph} of Mr. Trump, surrounded by Pentagon leaders who have been solely white.

Basic Brown, a fighter pilot, received out over his closest competitor, the Marine Corps commandant, Gen. David H. Berger. Recognized broadly as “CQ,” Basic Brown just isn’t a talker like Basic Milley, who loves lengthy historic expositions that join the modern-day navy and political maneuvering of the previous. However Basic Brown brings to the job a capability to satisfy the second when it arises.

Take the nationwide protests across the demise of George Floyd, an African American man, in June 2020 by the hands of Minneapolis law enforcement officials. Mr. Trump wished to invoke the Rebel Act to ship troops to focus on the protesters. Basic Brown was days away from his Senate affirmation vote in a Republican-led Senate to be Air Drive chief of workers, however that didn’t cease him from posting a five-minute video on-line that electrified the rank and file.

“I’m serious about how full I’m with emotion not only for George Floyd, however the many African People which have suffered the identical destiny as George Floyd,” Basic Brown mentioned within the video, an unusually public assertion by a high-ranking navy chief a few delicate and politically charged difficulty.

“I’m serious about protests in my nation ’tis of thee, candy land of liberty, the equality expressed in our Declaration of Independence and the Structure that I’ve sworn my grownup life to help and defend. I’m serious about a historical past of racial points and my very own experiences that didn’t at all times sing of liberty and equality.”

It was a unprecedented transfer for a basic not too long ago promoted by Mr. Trump, who on the time was indignant about what he seen as Pentagon intransigence over his want to deploy the troops. However Basic Brown’s video additionally immediately recognized as a possible inheritor — ought to he survive the remaining months of Mr. Trump’s tenure — to Basic Milley.

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.