Retired Marine General James Mattis was a long shot for Sec. of Defense. He retired from leading military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2013 and a FEDERAL LAW requires a general be 7 years past his or her military service to be in the cabinet.

But no one was surprised Donald Trump was considering him. Not only was he the greatest general of his generation, but he is also an expert on improving communication between politicians and military leaders.

Trump nominated Richland resident James Mattis for the position Thursday. Congress will have to amend its own law forbidding military professionals from holding the job, but the Republican-led Congress will likely do just that.

Mattis graduated from Columbia High School, now Richland High School, in the 1960s and went on to have a distinguished career in the Marines. He maintained roots in the community including a home in Richland.

Getty Images, Drew Angerer