Will General Mattis be the next SecDef?
Some laws will have to be changed, but it seems as if people think he would be a good fit.
Mattis’s candidacy to be secretary of defense has thus far received positive responses from current and former U.S. officials ranging from Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) to Michèle Flournoy, a former Pentagon undersecretary who was considered a front-runner to run the Defense Department in a Democratic administration. It also has been greeted with support from many rank-and-file troops and veterans. But both chambers of Congress must pass new legislation in order for Mattis to serve in the role, and the Senate must confirm him.
Federal law holds that all retired service members must wait seven years after serving on active duty before they can hold the office of secretary of defense or other senior civilian defense positions. The time limit was set by Congress in 2008, knocking it down from a 10-year limit first set by Congress in the 1947 national security act.
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