“Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.”
(Mattis’ Letter To 1st Marine Division (1))


(source: Los angeles Times) President-elect Donald Trump has chosen James N. Mattis, a highly respected retired Marine four-star general, to head the Defense Department, filling in a critical national security position in the emerging Cabinet.

Mattis served 44 years in the Marine Corps before he retired in 2013. He headed U.S. Central Command in his final three years and oversaw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other military operations in the Middle East.

Trump announced his pick Thursday night at a rally in Cincinnati, urging his supporters to keep the news quiet. “We’re not announcing it until Monday so don’t tell anybody,” he joked.

He compared Mattis to Gen. George Patton, the legendary front-line general who helped liberate Europe in World War II.

Unmarried all his life, Mattis, 66, was known as a hard-charging but scholarly figure who issued heavy reading lists to his subordinates and who carried “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius on his deployments.

In speeches, he was as likely to quote from Shakespeare or an ancient Greek poet as from traditional military strategists Carl von Clausewitz or Sun Tzu. His nicknames included “Mad Dog” and “Warrior Monk.”

“He is the combination of strategic thinker and successful operator at all levels of warfare,” said retired Marine Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro and author of “On War and Politics: The Battlefield Inside Washington’s Beltway.” “His entire life has been learning about and implementing a strong national defense.” (…)


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