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General James Mattis Confirmed As Secretary Of Defense

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Official portrait of Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Official portrait of Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
WASHINGTON, D.C -

The Senate confirmed retired Marine Corps General James Mattis to be the 26th secretary of defense Friday, by a 98-1 vote.

Vice President Mike Pence administered his oath of office shortly afterward.

Mattis is the 26th secretary of defense. He's the first retired general officer to hold the position since General of the Army George C. Marshall in the early 1950s. Congress passed a waiver for the retired four-star general to serve in the position, because law requires former service members to have been out of uniform for at least seven years to serve as defense secretary. Mattis retired from the Marine Corps in 2013.

Mattis is a veteran of the Gulf War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He commander of U.S. Central Command when he retired.

He was born and raised in Washington state, graduating from high school there in 1968 and enlisting in the Marine Corps the following year. He was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1972 after graduating from Central Washington University.

Friday evening he tweeted a message to members of the U.S. military:

It’s good to be back and I’m grateful to serve alongside you as Secretary of Defense.

Together with the Intelligence Community we are the sentinels and guardians of our nation. We need only look to you, the uniformed and civilian members of the Department and your families, to see the fundamental unity of our country. You represent an America committed to the common good; an America that is never complacent about defending its freedoms; and an America that remains a steady beacon of hope for all mankind.

Every action we take will be designed to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future. Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances. Further, we are devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of Congress and the American people.

I am confident you will do your part. I pledge to you I’ll do my best as your Secretary.

MATTIS SENDS

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