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S. 11 (117th): 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 6, 2021 (Placed on Calendar in the Senate). The bill was not enacted into law.

Summary of this bill

Should nominees for the position get to skip the required seven-year wait after their military service ends?

Context and what the bill does

Civilian control of the military is supposed to be one of the fundamental principles of the U.S. system. While the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the nation’s top-ranking military official, under federal law, the Secretary of Defense cannot have served in the military within the prior seven years.

That requirement can only be waived by Congress, which has done so twice since World War II. The first instance was for George Marshall’s 1950 appointment in the middle of the Korean War. The second …


II

Calendar No. 1

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 11

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 3, 2021

introduced the following bill; which was read the first time

January 6, 2021

Read the second time and placed on the calendar

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.

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 in an appointment made on or after January 20, 2021, may be a person who is, on the date of appointment, within seven years after relief, but not within four 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 nominated after 12:01 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on January 20, 2021, and appointed as Secretary of Defense as described in subsection (a), and to no other person.

January 6, 2021

Read the second time and placed on the calendar