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S. 84 (115th): A bill to provide for an exception to a limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commissioned officer of the Armed Forces.


The text of the bill below is as of Jan 18, 2017 (Passed Congress).

Summary of this bill

Secretary of Defense James Mattis, appointed on President Trump's first day in office, was a four-star Marine general. Mattis’s recent service upends the traditional separation where the Defense Secretary — the official in charge of the Pentagon and most of the American military — is a non-uniformed civilian, while the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the the nation’s top-ranking military official.

To maintain that separation, Congress passed a law decades ago stipulating that nobody can serve as Defense Secretary within seven years after leaving the service. Mattis has only been out of the service for just shy of four years.

A law enacted on the President ...


One Hundred Fifteenth Congress of the United States of America

1st Session

S. 84

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

AN ACT

To provide for an exception to a limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commissioned officer of the Armed Forces.

1.

Exception to limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as regular commissioned officers of the Armed Forces

(a)

In general

Notwithstanding the second sentence of section 113(a) of title 10, United States Code, the first person appointed, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, as Secretary of Defense after the date of the enactment of this Act may be a person who is, on the date of appointment, within seven years after relief, but not within three years after relief, from active duty as a commissioned officer of a regular component of the Armed Forces.

(b)

Limited exception

This section applies only to the first person appointed as Secretary of Defense as described in subsection (a) after the date of the enactment of this Act, and to no other person.

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate