Newly inaugurated President Trump celebrated the confirmation of his first cabinet pick, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, on Friday afternoon. The retired Marine general "scholar-soldier" nicknamed "Mad Dog Mattis" by the press released a statement to the Department of Defense soon after his swearing in.
"It's good to be back and I'm grateful to serve alongside you as Secretary of Defense," he began.
Together with the Intelligence Community we are the sentinels and guardians of our nation. We need only look to you, the uniformed and civilian members of the department and your families, to see the fundamental unity of our country. You represent an America committed to the common good; an America that is never complacent about defending its freedoms; and an America that remains a steady beacon of hope for all mankind.
Every action we take will be designed to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future. Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances. Further, we are devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of Congress and the American people.
He concluded, “I am confident you will do your part. I pledge to you I’ll do my best as your secretary.”
The official U.S. Department of Defense Twitter account congratulated the new Defense Secretary and posted the video of his swearing in:
Congratulations to James Mattis, our 26th Secretary of Defense. Welcome, sir!#SecDefpic.twitter.com/XJpA2OnTa0
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) January 21, 2017
Congress had to sign a waiver for Mattis to be allowed to join the cabinet as Secretary of Defense because federal law requires military officers to wait seven years before taking on the position to preserve "civilian" control of the military as much as possible.