Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly were sworn in to their new jobs Friday night by Vice President Mike Pence.
Hours after the Senate confirmed their nominations, Mr. Mattis and Mr. Kelly, both retired Marine Corps generals, took the oaths of office in a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House. Both men had visited with President Trump at the inaugural parade reviewing stand at the White House after their confirmations.
The Senate confirmed Mr. Mattis 98-1, and Mr. Kelly by a vote of 88-11.
In a message to Pentagon employees, Mr. Mattis said, “it’s good to be back and I’m grateful to serve alongside you as secretary of Defense.”
“Together with the Intelligence Community we are the sentinels and guardians of our nation,” Mr. Mattis said. “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.”
He pledged that “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,” Mr. Mattis said. “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.”
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