WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has announced that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will retire at the end of February.
Defense Sec. Mattis resignation letter:
"Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours … I believe it is right for me to step down from my position." pic.twitter.com/HqkGDp7kBJ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 20, 2018
Trump says on Twitter that a new secretary of defense will be named soon.
Trump’s announcement comes a day after he surprised U.S. allies and members of Congress by announcing the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.
….equipment. General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations. A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2018
Mattis, 68, is a former United States Marine Corps general.
During his lifetime of military service, Mattis received a well-earned reputation for his intellectualism.
From 2007-2010, he commanded the United States Joint Forces Commanded while serving at the same time as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. He served from 2010-13 as commander of United States Central Command.
And after retiring from the military, he served in a variety of private sector roles, including a board member of health technology company Theranos.