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President Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis at the White House in October. Mattis will be replaced by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Tuesday. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, pictured in August during a meeting at the Pentagon, will step down from his position on Feb. 28. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Jack McCain, son of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., touches his father's casket during a memorial service at the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday in Phoenix. Ross D. Franklin/AP hide caption

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Ross D. Franklin/AP

This photo taken from a U.S. military plane shows Chinese activity at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. China is building military facilities on disputed reefs and islands in the South China Sea. Ritchie B. Tongo/AP hide caption

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Ritchie B. Tongo/AP

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Congress's power to authorize the use of military force. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

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Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

President Trump speaks with newly sworn-in White House chief of staff John Kelly at the White House on July 31. Kelly is one of four former generals who were appointed to top administration positions. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Why Donald Trump Likes To Surround Himself With Generals

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Teddy Fischer and Jane Gormley, student journalists from Mercer Island High School near Seattle, wrote stories based on an exclusive interview with Defense Secretary James Mattis. Courtesy of Charlie Fischer hide caption

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Courtesy of Charlie Fischer

High School Journalists Land Scoop With Defense Secretary James Mattis

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President Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis speak on Inauguration Day. Mattis travels to South Korea and Japan this week in the administration's first major foreign trip. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The 'America First' President Sends His Defense Secretary To Asia

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President-elect Donald Trump points to his supporters during his "Thank You" rally in Fayetteville, N.C., on Tuesday night. Sara D. Davis/Getty Images hide caption

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Sara D. Davis/Getty Images