Trump Nominates Mattis for Defense Secretary

Trump Nominates Mattis for Defense Secretary

Joe Burtzlaff

Last Night President-Elect Donald Trump chose to nominate retired Marine Corps General James Mattis for Secretary of Defense. Trump made announcement in Cincinnati, Ohio at his first stop on his thank you tour around the country. Mattis, 66, retired from the Marine Corps in 2013 and has been a prominent supporter of Trump throughout the campaign. Mattis has held a number of major commands in his career including being the head of US Central Command from 2010 to 2013 as well as the 1st Marine Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the Battle of Fallujah.

Trump’s nomination of Mattis has drawn much attention and controversy already. Since the establishment of the Defense Department, it has been common tradition to nominate non-military personnel to head the department. The National Security Act of 1947, signed by President Harry Truman, requires a seven-year wait before retired military personnel can become the Secretary of Defense. For Mattis to be confirmed, he will need a waiver approved by Congress to bypass the clause. Mattis would be just the second nominee to request such a waiver and the first since George Marshall in 1950.

The pick of Mattis comes as the Trump transition is moving full speed ahead. Mattis’ nomination follows many other cabinet selections in the past week include Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, Steven Mnuchun for Secretary of the Treasury, Elaine Chao for Secretary of Transportation, Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Wilbur Ross for Secretary of Commerce. Trump is expected to pick Secretary of State sometime soon. The two-way race seems to be between Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani but the Trump Transition Team has not ruled anyone out.