U.S. President-elect Donald Trump stands with retired Marine Gen. James Mattis following their meeting at the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
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Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for defense secretary, will need more than the usual Senate confirmation before being able to take office. U.S. law states that a nominee for defense secretary must have been out of the active-duty military for seven years.Mattis, 66, retired in 2013 after serving as the commander of the U.S. Central Command.MILITARY SERVICE Of the 25 men who have served as secretary of the modern Defense Department, only seven never served in the military, including the current Pentagon chief, Ash Carter.Marshall needed a special law passed because he had not been out of the military for 10 years, as then required.A Pentagon history says Marshall's appointment was quickly approved, but questions were raised by some senators about a military leader holding a job intended for a civilian.
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