"The proposed nomination of General (Ret.) James Mattis, United States Marine Corps (hereafter referred to as “General Mattis”), who retired from the military in 2013, to be Secretary of Defense requires both houses of Congress to consider whether and how to suspend—or remove—a provision contained in Title 10 U.S.C. §113 that states,
A person may not be appointed as Secretary of Defense within seven years after relief
from active duty as a commissioned officer of a regular component of an armed force.
This provision was originally contained in the 1947 National Security Act (P.L. 80-253), which
mandated that 10 years pass between the time an officer is relieved from active duty and when he
or she could be appointed to the office of the Secretary of Defense. Only one exception to this
provision has been made. Enacted on September 18, 1950, at the special request of President
Truman during a time of conflict, P.L. 81-788 authorized the suspension of statutory requirements
otherwise prohibiting General of the Army George C. Marshall from serving as Secretary of
Defense. In 2007, Section 903 of the FY2008 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 110-181),
Congress changed the period of time that must elapse between relief from active duty and
appointment to the position of Secretary of Defense to seven years..."
Secretary of Defense