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James Mattis

26th United States Secretary of Defense; United States Marine Corps general

James Norman "Mad Dog" Mattis (born September 8, 1950) is a retired United States Marine Corps general and was the 26th United States Secretary of Defense. On January 20, 2017, the United States Senate confirmed Mattis' nomination as Defense secretary with a 98-1 vote. He last served as the 11th Commander of United States Central Command from August 11, 2010 to March 22, 2013.

James Mattis
James Mattis official photo.jpg
26th United States Secretary of Defense
In office
January 20, 2017 – December 31, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byAsh Carter
Succeeded byPatrick M. Shanahan (acting)
Commander of United States Central Command
In office
August 11, 2010 – March 22, 2013
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byJohn R. Allen (acting)
Succeeded byLloyd Austin
Commander of the United States Joint Forces Command
In office
November 9, 2007 – August 11, 2010
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded byLance L. Smith
Succeeded byKeith Huber (acting)
Supreme Allied Commander of Transformation
In office
November 9, 2007 – September 8, 2009
Preceded byLance Smith
Succeeded byStéphane Abrial
Personal details
Born
James Norman Mattis

(1950-09-08) September 8, 1950 (age 68)
Pullman, Washington, U.S.
Political partyIndependent
Alma materCentral Washington University (BA)
Military service
Nickname(s)
  • "Chaos" (callsign)[1]
  • "Warrior Monk"
  • "Mad Dog"[2]
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service1969–2013
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands
Battles/wars
Awards

On December 20, 2018, Mattis announced his plans to retire on February 28, 2019.[3] However after reading his resignation letter criticizing Trump's treatment of American allies, Trump ordered Mattis fired on December 31, 2018.[4]

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Mattis was born on September 8, 1950, in Pullman, Washington.[5] He was raised in Richland, Washington.[6] Mattis earned a BA degree in history from Central Washington University in 1971.[7][8]

Military careerEdit

Mattis is known for carrying out the COIN strategy. Before President Obama appointed him to replace General Petraeus on August 11, 2010, he commanded United States Joint Forces Command from November 9, 2007 to August 2010 and served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation from November 9, 2007 to September 8, 2009 at the same time. Prior to that, he commanded I Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Forces Central Command, and 1st Marine Division during the Iraq War.[9]

United States Secretary of Defense (2017–2018)Edit

On December 1, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced that Mattis would be nominated to serve as United States Secretary of Defense in the coming administration.[10] He was confirmed by the United States Senate with a 98-1 vote. On the same day, he was sworn-in by Vice President Mike Pence.

On April 5, 2017, Mattis called the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack "a heinous act" and said it would be treated accordingly.[11] On April 10, Mattis warned the Syrian government against using chemical weapons again.[12]

Mattis has voiced support for a Saudi Arabian–led military campaign against Yemen's Shiite rebels.[13] He asked Trump to remove restrictions on U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia.[14]

Mattis insisted that the U.S. would remain in Syria following the defeat of ISIS to ensure they did not regroup. However, Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from Syria on December 19.[15] The next day, Mattis submitted his resignation after failing to persuade Trump to reconsider.[16] In his resignation letter, Mattis criticized Trump for not respecting allied nations while criticizing China and Russia's authoritarian rule.[17] In response to the letter, Trump ordered Mattis' firing on January 1, nearly two months earlier than Mattis planned leaving office.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Mattis is a lifelong bachelor who has never been married and has no children. He is nicknamed "The Warrior Monk" because of his bachelor life and lifelong devotion to the study of war.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Kovach, Gretel C. (January 19, 2013). "Just don't call him Mad Dog". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  2. Boot, Max (March 2006). "The Corps should look to its small-wars past". Armed Forces Journal. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  3. Cooper, Helene (December 20, 2018). "Jim Mattis, Marine General Turned Defense Secretary, Will Leave Pentagon in February". The New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cooper, Helene (December 23, 2018). "Trump, Angry Over Mattis's Rebuke, Removes Him 2 Months Early". Retrieved December 23, 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
  5. "Nominations before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Second Session, 111th Congress" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  6. Kraemer, Kristin M. (November 22, 2016). "Gen. Mattis, Trump's possible defense chief, fulfills Benton County jury duty". Tri-City Herald.
  7. Ray, Michael (December 2, 2016). "James Mattis". Britannica.
  8. Baldor, Lolita C. (December 2, 2016). "Trump to nominate retired Gen. James Mattis to lead Pentagon". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  9. Garamone, Jim (August 11, 2010). "Gates: Mattis brings experience, continuity to Central Command". American Forces Press Service. Headquarters Marine Corps. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
  10. Lamothe, Dan (December 1, 2016). "Trump picks retired Marine Gen. James Mattis for secretary of defense". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  11. "Defense Secretary Mattis condemns 'heinous' chemical attack in Syria, DoD mulls response". Washington Times. April 5, 2017.
  12. United States Department of Defense (April 10, 2017). "Statement by Secretary of Defense James Mattis on the U.S. Military Response to the Syrian Government's Use of Chemical Weapons". Press release. https://www.defense.gov/News/News-Releases/News-Release-View/Article/1146758/statement-by-secretary-of-defense-James-mattis-on-the-us-military-response-to-the/. 
  13. "Pentagon Weighs More Support for Saudi-led War in Yemen". Foreign Policy. March 26, 2017.
  14. "Trump administration weighs deeper involvement in Yemen war". The Washington Post. March 26, 2017.
  15. "Defense Secretary Mattis To Retire In February, Trump Says, Amid Syria Tension". NPR.org. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  16. "White House Orders Pentagon To Pull U.S. Troops From Syria". NPR.org. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  17. "A Sad, Scary and Fearful Day for American as Mattis Resigns in a Rebuke to Trump". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  18. North, Oliver (July 9, 2010). "Gen. Mattis: The Warrior Monk". Fox News Insider. Retrieved June 3, 2015.

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