Good day Hard-Chargers!!
I got some neat information about one of the most accomplished military figures of our time. Hard-Chargers, I give you the 26th and current United States Secretary of Defense James Norman Mattis.
Mattis, is a retired United States Marine Corps general who served as the 11th Commander of United States Central Command and was responsible for American military operations in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, and Central Asia, from 2010 to 2013.
January 20, 2017, Mattis was confirmed as Secretary of Defense by the United States Senate. He had only been three years out of active duty despite US federal law requiring a seven year-year cool down period for retired personnel in order to be appointed Secretary of Defense.
He was the first member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet to be confirmed.Barack Obama appointed Mattis, to replace General David Petraeus in 2010, prior to that Mattis commanded United States Joint Forces Command from 2007-2010.
He served with as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and also 1st Marine Expeditionary Force US Marine Forces Central Command and 1st Marine Division during the Iraq War.
James Norman Mattis was born September 8, 1950 in Pullman, Washington. He is the son of Mrs. Lucille Mattis and also Mr. John West Mattis who was a merchant mariner.
His mother immigrated from Canada to the U.S. as an infant and worked in Army Intelligence in South Africa during World War II.
Mattis earned his Bachelors of Arts in history from Central Washington University in 1971.
He also earned his Masters of Arts in international security affairs from the National War College in 1994.
James Mattis, initially enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1969. He was a second lieutenant through the Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1972. During his years in service, Mattis was seen and considered to be an intellectual among upper ranks.
He’s even been described as one of the most urbane and polished men in the military. It is said that he carried a personal copy of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius throughout his deployments.
Mattis was a lieutenant/platoon commander in a rifle/weapons company in 3rd Marine Division. As a captain he was assigned to the Naval Academy Preparatory school, which was composed of enlisted midshipman candidates with company officers and enlisted staff. He was also a major at a Recruiting Station Portland Oregon.
He’s known for his intellectualism and interest in the study of military history and also world history. He has a personal library that is said to include over 7,000 volumes and a penchant for required reading list for Marines under his command.
In Marines he instills risk management asking of his Marines to be well cultured pertaining to the regions where they deploy and also has his Marines undergo cultural sensitivity training.
As Colonel, Mattis commanded 7th Marine Regiment. He led the 1st expeditionary brigade as its commanding officer upon promotion to brigadier general.
Mattis gets an extreme amount of respect from Marines, not because of the ranking. This is due to what we Marines consider real leadership, Officer Nathaniel Fick, gave an example of this after he spotted Mattis in a fighting hole conversing with a sergeant and a lance corporal.
He was in the freezing night-cold in Afghanistan, out on the lines with his Marines when he could have been in a warm hooch.
President Donald Trump, met with Mattis for a little over an hour November 2016. He later stated General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis was going to be considered for Secretary of Defense as he was very impressed. He considered him a General’s General.
Mattis is a very decorated Marine…
1st Row: Defensive Distinguished Service Medal w/ one Oak Leaf Cluster ** Navy Distinguished Service Medal ** Defense Superior Service Medal
2nd Row: Legion of Merit ** Bronze Star Medal w/ Combat “V” ** Meritorious Service Medal w/ two Gold Stars ** Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal
3rd Row: Combat Action Ribbon ** Navy & Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation ** Joint Meritorious Unit Award ** Joint Meritorious Unit Award ** Navy Unit Commendation
4th Row: Navy & Marine Corps Meritorious Unit Commendation ** Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal ** National Defense Service Medal two Bronze Stars ** Southwest Asia Service Medal two Bronze Stars
5th Row: Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/ one Bronze Star ** Iraq Campaign Medal w/ one Bronze Star ** Global Was on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal w/ one Bronze Star ** Global Was on Terrorism Service Medal
6th Row: Humanitarian Service Medal ** Sea Service Ribbon w/ one Silver Star two Bronze Stars ** Marine Corps Recruiting Service Ribbon w/ one Bronze Star ** Polish Army Medal (Gold)
7th Row: NATO Meritorious Service Medal ** NATO Medal ISAF ** Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) ** Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Rifle Expert Badge (4th Award) ***** Pistol Expert Badge (2nd Award)
Mattis is also a lifelong bachelor who has never been married nor does he have any children. His nickname is “The Warrior Monk” because of his bachelor life and his lifelong devotion to the studying the art of war.
I think I speak for most when I say thank you for your service in the Marine Corps. As well as your continued devoted service to our country.
Isaac J. Hall II