The 7 year interval between leaving the service and being able to become Secretary of Defense is there for a reason, to ensure that the Department of Defense is under civilian controls.
It has only been waived twice before, for George Marshall in 1950, and James Mathis in 2017, and now Lloyd Austin has been confirmed as SecDef less than 5 years after leaving the service.
I do not approve.
This limit was put in place for a good reason, that you do not want the inmates running the asylum, but not it appears that this is likely to become a common state of affairs:
The Senate on Friday confirmed Lloyd J. Austin III as defense secretary, filling a critical national security position in President Biden’s cabinet and elevating him as the first Black Pentagon chief.
The 93-2 vote came a day after Congress granted Mr. Austin, a retired four-star Army general, a special waiver to hold the post, which is required for any defense secretary who has been out of active-duty military service for less than seven years. It reflected a bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill that it was urgent for Mr. Biden to have his defense pick rapidly installed, a step normally taken on a new president’s first day.
That Mr. Austin is not the first black SecDef not matter.
This is corrosive of civilian control of the military.