Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis launched the Close Combat Lethality Task Force in 2018. The task force was designed to improve close combat throughout the entire military. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced at John Hopkins University that the task force would most likely merge into the Army in order to give the force a stronger foundation. Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales has commented on his dislike for the idea, claiming the task force needs to remain a separate entity. An Army spokesperson has announced that the decision is still being worked over and numerous analyses are being performed. During its creation, many saw the task force as common ground and a way to pull together special forces, scientists, engineers, and infantry.