On December 1st, President-Elect Donald Trump announced his selection of retired General James Mattis to lead the Department of Defense, calling Mattis the “closest thing we have to General George Patton.” He has been routinely referred to as a “general’s general” and is highly lauded by men and women in the military.

In a statement to the press, Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that Mattis was “without a doubt one of the finest military officers of his generation and an extraordinary leader who inspires a rare and special admiration of his troops America will be fortunate to have General Mattis in its service once again.”

The Secretary of Defense is the “principle defense policy adviser to the President” and is the oldest and largest government agency in the United States. The Department of Defense oversees the entire military and thousands of civilian employees. The Defense Department is headquartered at the Pentagon and is the nation’s largest employer. There are currently 1.3 million active duty men and women under the direction of the Defense Department.

Here are fifteen things to know about General James “Mad Dog” Mattis:

  1. Mattis served as Commander of United States Central Command from August 2010-March 2013. That position is currently held by John Allen. This position has also been held by General David Petraeus

  2. The General served in the United States Marine Corps from 1969-2013.

  3. General Mattis led a Marine division during the Iraq invasion of 2003.

  4. General Mattis was born in 1950 and will be 66 when Trump assumes office in January

  5. Some of his nicknames include “Chaos” “Warrior Monk” and “Mad Dog”

  6. He is a strong believer that Iran is the greatest threat to peace in the Middle East.

  7. He is politically independent, as many generals are. He served under Bush 43, Obama, and now Trump.

  8. At the time of his retirement, he was a four star general.

  9. He holds a history degree from Central Washington University and collects books on military history.

  10. Mattis will be the first former general to hold the DoD position since 1951 and will need a special congressional waiver for the position he will hold.

  11. Mattis is openly against torture and said that he did not find waterboarding to be effective. According to Trump, he said, “I’ve never found it not be useful. I’ve always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture.”

  12. His most quotable quotes are called Mattisms, and one of them, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet” even made it into a video game.

  13. General Mattis has been awarded a Defense Distinguished Service Medal and a Defense Superior Service Medal among other numerous awards.

  14. Mattis was the co-author of the book, “Warriors and Citizens: American Views of Our Military

  15. Several #NeverTrump people tried to get General Mattis to run as an Independent in 2016.



Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member