Mattis retired from the military in 2013 after taking over the role of running the US Central Command from Gen. David Petraeus in 2010.
On what's been dubbed his "thank you" tour, Mr. Trump joking asked the crowd not to tell anyone he's appointed retired Marine Corps Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis as defense secretary. The retired four-star general, known as "Mad Dog", commanded a Marine battalion during the First Gulf War and a Marine division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
"While I deeply respect General Mattis's service, I will oppose a waiver", Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of NY, a Democrat who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement after Trump said Thursday night that he'll name Mattis on Monday.
Mattis' nomination seems to have strong support from Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress.
"That a person who has within ten years been on active duty as a commissioned officer in a Regular component of the armed services shall not be eligible for appointment as Secretary of Defense.""America will be fortunate to have General Mattis in its service once again".
In roles such as head of Central Command, which is responsible for USA efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, "he has had to interact with civilians at senior levels", Cancian said. The nomination comes after Mattis met with Trump in Bedminster, New Jersey, last month. "General Mattis will provide great leadership to the Department of Defense and President-elect Trump will find his advice to be invaluable".
"But Gen. Mattis is so deeply steeped in history and is such a strategic thinker and brings such extraordinary experience to the table, that I think that this would be one time that's worth making an exception". "Either it ceases to be a Jewish state or you say the Arabs don't get to vote - apartheid". General Mattis has received support from top Republican Senators in the Congress, including Senator John McCain, Chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee.
Roger Wicker called Mattis a legendary Marine and "one of our nation's leading military strategists". I will keep that in mind throughout his nomination process.