Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis was confirmed as President Donald Trump's secretary of defense late Friday afternoon. The Hill reported the Senate "easily" confirmed Mattis, who is the first of Trump's Cabinet members to be confirmed.
Mattis will be the first recently retired service member to lead the Pentagon since "President [Harry S.] Truman nominated Army Gen. George C. Marshall for the job in 1950," The Washington Post reported. To be confirmed, Mattis had to obtain a waiver from Congress to bypass a law prohibiting members of the military from assuming the position for at least seven years after they leave the service. Trump's first order of business after being sworn into office Friday morning was to sign a waiver allowing Mattis to serve as defense secretary.
Mattis will be in charge of the Defense Department's $580 billion budget and its 1.9 million active-duty service members and reservists.