James Mattis served as the 26th US secretary of defense from January 2017 through January 2019. During his 44 years in the Marine Corps, he commanded forces in the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. After retiring from the military, he served in several private sector roles, including as a board member of Theranos.
About Jim Mattis in brief
James Mattis served as the 26th US secretary of defense from January 2017 through January 2019. During his 44 years in the Marine Corps, he commanded forces in the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. After retiring from the military, he served in several private sector roles, including as a board member of Theranos. Mattis was born on September 8, 1950, in Pullman, Washington. He is the son of Lucille Mattis and John West Mattis, a merchant mariner. His mother immigrated to the United States from Canada as an infant and had worked in Army Intelligence in South Africa during the Second World War. His father moved to Richland, Washington, to work at a plant supplying fissile material to the Manhattan Project. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Central Washington University in 1971. He was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps on January 1, 1972. As a lieutenant, Mattis was assigned as a rifle and weapons platoon commander in the 3rd Marine Division. He commanded 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, one of Task Force Ripper’s assault battalions during the Gulf War. Mattis commanded the 7th Marine Regiment from 28 June 1994 to 14 June 1996. He led the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade as its commanding officer upon promotion to brigadier general. His nickname was “Mad Dog” He is noted for his interest in the study of history and world history with a personal library that once included over 7,000 volumes. He required his Marines be well-read in the regions where they were deployed, and had his Marines deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan to undergo cultural sensitivity training.
Mattis is a graduate of the US Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School and the National War College. He also earned a Master of arts in international security affairs from the National war College of National Defense University in 1994. He served as commander of United States Central Command from 2010 to 2013 with Admiral Bob Harward serving as his deputy commander. Mattis occasionally voiced his disagreement with certain Trump administration policies such as the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, withdrawals of troops from Syria and Afghanistan. On June 3, 2020, during the protests following George Floyd’s killing, Mattis publicly criticized Trump, calling him “the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.’’ On December 20, 2018, Mattis announced his resignation effective the end of February 2019, but after Mattis’s resignation generated significant media coverage, Trump abruptly accelerated Mattis departure date to January 1. Mattis also dissuaded Trump from attempting to assassinate Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria, and said that he had essentially fired Mattis. He has a penchant for publishing military history lists for Marines under his command. His actual nickname was “Chaos’s Dog,” but it was actually “Mad Dog”.