About General James Mattis

President Trump Appoints General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense

President Trump of the United States appointed General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense. Mattis stepped down as commander of US Central Command in 2013. Mattis was chosen because he is regarded as one of the greatest militants of his generation. Former President Barack Obama acknowledged Mattis as an outstanding candidate and a straight shooter during his presidency.

General Mattis’s thorough awareness of the multiple issues that the US Department of Defense is experiencing is one of his most impressive skills (McDaniel, 2017). Even after retiring, Mattis kept talking about political Islam as being one of the biggest challenges that the US is facing (McDaniel, 2017). Even after retiring, Mattis kept talking about political Islam as being one of the biggest challenges that the US is facing. He was interested in the strategies taken by his country, and he went ahead to state that Washington had not used the best methods to fight attacks from the Middle East. Therefore, the vast knowledge that Mattis has on handling issues related to the Middle East have made him a perfect choice especially during this time when terrorism has become a global issue.

Mattis: The Straight Thinker-Warrior

Mattis is also a straight thinker-warrior (Forrester, 2017). In fact, his nickname is ‘Warrior Monk.’ He had been awarded numerous honours in his recent service in the US Marine Corps. Therefore, he earned a lot of respect from the Americans because they have grown to trust in his commitment to the country. Mattis does not fear to speak the truth, and he speaks it to everyone. Mattis speaks truthfully because he is a military thinker who puts strategy before anything else.

Mattis' Unwavering Commitment to the US

Mattis has shown his unwavering commitment to the US. Even after his retirement, Mattis has acted as a consultant for the military operations in his country (Murphy, 2016). He has also given his ideas about the state of security in the country in various conferences. For instance, in 2015, he said at the Heritage Foundation that is important for the US to conduct a discussion on their best interest regarding political Islam (Lamothe, 2016). Mattis also proved his commitment to his country during his retirement that came five months earlier than expected. Although there were speculations that he had clashed with the Obama administration on Iran Policy, Mattis declined to talk about the matter for the interest of the country. Therefore, the commitment demonstrated by Mattis to his country is one of the greatest qualities that the Secretary of Defense needs to show.

Leadership Style and Principles of General Mattis

Mattis adopted a compassionate leadership style when serving in the US Marine Corps (Plenzler, 2016). Mattis was guided by the principle that if a marine or a unit messed up, he ought to have hugged them a little. Although he was an intrusive coach, he was able to balance it well with kindness. He kept reminding his senior officers that they should not be blinded by their passion for excellence and end up destroying the compassion of their subordinates. He told his aides that everyone needs a coach in life and none of those mentors ought to act as tyrants (Plenzler, 2016). The people who served under General Mattis complemented his service after his retirement by saying that although he fired some officers, they never saw him yelling at any of them. The compassion demonstrated by General Mattis helped to improve the performance of his department during his tenure of service (Lamothe, 2016).

General Mattis' Guiding Principles

Mattis is guided by some principles which he articulates through words and actions. One of them is that ‘attitude is a weapon’ (Plenzler, 2016). Mattis believes that the role of a leader is to win the heart of the people who are his subordinates. If a leader can win their hearts, then it is easy for the subordinates to accomplish every mission. During his service in the Marine Corps, he stated that if all leaders would learn how to win battles in the minds and hearts of their subordinates, the militants would willingly risk their lives to win the other wars (Boss, 2017).

General Mattis also believes that individuals ought to live out their ethos (Boss, 2017). He believes that although different organizations define success in various ways, the means to success is similar. All organizations and departments that succeed require communication, leadership, teamwork, and good decision-making skills. In a similar perspective, he urges his subordinates and the Americans to be supportive in the event of war. Mattis believes that war is not for the mentally weak, spiritually broken, emotionally unstable, or faint-hearted. Those individuals who go to war must believe not only in themselves but also for the purposes they are serving.


In conclusion, it is clear that the principles General Mattis holds are in line with the qualities that prompted President Trump to nominate him for the position of Secretary of Defense in the US. His unwavering commitment to his country coupled with the leadership style he used at the Marine Corps Department, Mattis is likely to succeed in his current position. The nation will be glad that General Mattis got another chance to serve them, especially regarding the issue of political Islam and fights related to the Middle East.


Boss, J. (2017, January 16). 4 Leadership Principles from General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis that Aren’t so Mad After All. Forbes. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffboss/2017/01/16/4-leadership-principles-from-general-mad-dog-mattis-that-arent-so-mad-after-all/#7f999f00b4b3

Forrester, D. (2017, January 15). Four Essential Lessons General James Mattis Taught me about Leadership. Fox News. Retrieved from: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/01/15/four-essential-lessons-general-james-mattis-taught-me-about-leadership.html

Lamothe, D. (2016, December 1). Trump Picks Retired Marine General James Mattis for Secretary of Defense. The Washington Post. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-has-chosen-retired-marine-gen-james-mattis-for-secretary-of-defense/2016/12/01/6c6b3b74-aff9-11e6-be1c-8cec35b1ad25_story.html?utm_term=.1ee5800eeedf

McDaniel, R. (2017, January 11). Gen. James Mattis: A Uniquely Qualified and Exceptional Nominee. GOP. Retrieved from: https://gop.com/gen-james-mattis-a-uniquely-qualified-and-exceptional-nominee/

Murphy, B. (2016, December 2). 9 Things Great Leaders Always Do (General Mattis Edition). Retrieved from: https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/9-things-great-leaders-always-do-general-mattis-edition.html

Plenzler, J. (2016, December 20). 15 Things Mattis Taught me about Real Leadership. Retrieved from Task and Purpose: http://taskandpurpose.com/gen-mattis-no-mad-dog-told-1st-marine-division-proves/

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