US Senate confirmed General James Mattis as next Secretary of Defense

January 20, 2017 10:50 pm

testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his nomination to be the next Secretary of Defense in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on January 12, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The Senate has confirmed retired Marine General James Mattis as the country’s next Secretary of Defense.
The Senate Friday confirmed Mattis, the first member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet, as the successor of Ashton Carter who served as the Pentagon chief since 2015.
Mattis, one of the most influential military officers of his generation, retired from the Marine Corps in 2013 as the four-star chief of US Central Command.
He needed a waiver to bypass a law that stipulates Defense secretaries must be out of uniform for at least seven years, but Congress easily passed the waiver last week, with Trump signing the waiver legislation.

This file photo taken on November 19, 2016 shows Donald Trump shaking hands with James Mattis after their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, in Bedminster, New Jersey.  (Photo by AFP)

In his Jan. 12 confirmation hearing, Mattis said he had never anticipated he would be nominated for the job until Trump asked to meet with him.
“I was not involved in the presidential campaign, and I was certainly not seeking or envisioning a position in any new administration,” he said. “That said, it would be the highest honor if I am confirmed to lead those who volunteer to support and defend the constitution and to defend our people.”
He will lead Pentagon’s 1.9 million active-duty service members and reservists in addition to overseeing a budget of more than $580 billion.
Mattis will work along Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work.
He was confirmed by the Senate hours after Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the US at Capitol Hill.
Skip to toolbar
shared on