Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was confirmed as Defense secretary shortly after President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Mattis spent 44 years in the Marine Corps, and his career culminated in 2010 when he served as the head of U.S. Central Command, managing conflicts across the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia until his retirement in 2013.
Despite the fact that he only spent three years in retirement as opposed to the requisite seven needed to serve in the position, both houses of Congress passed a waiver, granting him the first exemption since Army Gen. George Marshall was appointed to the position in 1950.
Though Senate Republicans were hoping to push through more cabinet nominees, minority leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said Mattis and fellow retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, who was selected at Secretary of Homeland Security, are the only two confirmations his party is prepared to vote on.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump was reeling from sharp rebukes at home and abroad over his surprise announcement last month to immediately pull American troops out of Syria when he flew into the al Asad airbase in neighboring Iraq the day after Christmas.
Inside a canvas Quonset hut, one of the arced prefabricated structures used by the military and surrounded by concertina wire, Trump received operational briefs from U.S. commanders suggesting a territorial victory against Islamic State was within sight, but the military needed just a bit more time, U.S. officials said.
In a message to the force sent Tuesday, Adm. Karl L. Schultz said both he and the Department of Homeland Security Secretary remain "fully engaged" on the missing pay issue, which have caused "anxiety and uncertainty" for Coasties and their families.