Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue tapped as designated survivor for Trump's State of the Union

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was tapped to be the designated survivor during President Donald Trump's State of the Union on Tuesday night, continuing a cautionary tradition that stems from the Cold War.

Perdue will watch Trump deliver his first State of the Union before Congress and the nation from a secret location in case there is an attack on the U.S. Capitol during the speech that leaves the president and any members of his Cabinet incapacitated.

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin was selected to serve as the designated survivor during Trump's joint address to Congress last year.

Perdue served governor of Georgia between 2003 and 2011 before President Trump appointed him to his current Cabinet position.

U.S. record of designated survivors dates back to at least the 1980's. Historians detail that in order to be chosen, a person must already fall in the line of succession and meet the criteria required to run for office.

Click through to see other designated survivors through the years:

Designated survivors through the years
See Gallery
Designated survivors through the years
2017: U.S. Veteran's Affairs Secretary David Shulkin
2016: Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson
2015: Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx
2014: Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz
2013: Former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu
2013: Former United States Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki
2012: Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
2011: Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
2010: Former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan
2009: Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
2009: Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
2008: Former US Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne

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