James Mattis (full name - James Nicholas Mattis, English James Nicholas Mattis) - American soldier, 26th US Secretary of Defense (2017-2018), Commander-in-Chief of the US Central Command (2010-2013), in 2007-2010. Commander-in-Chief of the United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), in 2007-2009 Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. Prior to that, he commanded the 1st US Marine Expeditionary Force and the 1st US Marine Division during the Iraq War. Retired General.
Place of birth, education. James Nicholas Mattis was born on September 8, 1950 in Pullman, Whitman County, Washington. Raised in Richland, Washington. Graduated from Columbia High School in 1968. Graduated from Marine Corps School, Marine Corps Command College, and National War College. He entered Central Washington University and graduated on January 1, 1972 with the rank of second lieutenant. He served as a platoon leader in the 3rd Marine Division. Later, having received the rank of captain, he commanded the 1st Marine Brigade. For impeccable service, he was promoted to major and was transferred to the recruiting office of the 12th district of the US Marine Corps, in Portland.
He commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment and then the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade. He received the rank of lieutenant colonel (eng. Lieutenant colonel).
Participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, where he commanded Task Force 58 with the rank of brigadier general. As commander of this group, he became the first Marine officer to command a ground task force in combat.
In 2003, with the rank of Major General, he commanded the 1st Marine Division. Participated in operations in Iraq. In 2004, Mattis played a key role in the Battle of Fallujah, brokering negotiations between coalition forces and rebels. Mattis, who at that time had the call sign "Chaos", demanded that his subordinates better treat the civilian population in Iraq. "Whenever you show anger or disgust towards civilians, it is a victory for al-Qaeda and other militants," he said.
In 2007, after receiving the rank of Lieutenant General, Mattis was given leadership of the Marine Corps Military Development Command. NATO has made the decision to appoint Mattis as Supreme Commander of the Allied NATO Forces for Transformation (Modernization).
By 2010, he was also holding a part-time position as commander of the US military's Interservice Command.
On August 11, 2010, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of US Central Command. In 2013, he resigned.
Political career. On December 1, 2016, US President-elect Donald Trump announced his plans to nominate Mattis to the position of Secretary of Defense. On January 20, 2017, Mattis became the new U.S. Secretary of Defense following Senate approval by a 98-to-1 majority.
In January 2019, after two years in the White House, James Mattis resigned as US Secretary of Defense.
Views and assessments. Mattis is well versed in the situation in the Middle East. He believes that the main challenges in this region are, first of all, Iran, and then the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda groups. In addition, the future head of the Pentagon assesses political Islam as the main security challenge for the United States. Mattis criticized Obama for his belief in the possibility of reaching agreements with Iran, the nominee considers the 2015 nuclear deal a bad agreement, and expects Tehran to violate it. The future head of the Pentagon also supports the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the creation of two states - Israel and Palestine, and believes that the lack of progress in this direction weakens the US position among the country's Arab allies.
sayings. Mattis gained popularity, as well as harsh criticism, on February 1, 2005, when he said the following during his speech at the forum in San Diego:
"In Afghanistan, you will see that there are guys who slap women just because they don't wear a veil. A guy like that has nothing left of a man anyway. So it's a lot of fun to shoot them. Fighting is big fun. Shooting some people is just great and fun. I'll be honest with you: I like it".
Mattis's remark caused controversy, and General Michael Haig (commander of the US Marine Corps) was forced to issue a statement in which he rebuked Mattis for choosing his words more carefully.
Awards. Mattis wears insignia stating that he is a firearms expert. In addition, James Mattis has received many other awards during his military career: he is a Chevalier of the Legion of Merit, which is awarded for exceptional and outstanding services and achievements in service in an emergency. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, numerous medals for the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the badge of the bronze Oak Leaves used by the US Army and Air Force.
Interesting Facts. "Mad Dog" and "Fighting Monk" - such nicknames were attached to the US Secretary of Defense among the Marines. "Mad Dog" - as a sign of respect for the merits of Mattis in the military field, even during the war in Iraq. "Fighting Monk" because Mattis has no family. The head of the Pentagon is fond of military history, in his personal library there are over seven thousand books, and he is famous for his instructions to the military. The media often quotes one of them: "Be polite, be professional, but always have a plan to kill everyone you meet." Also, there's a "Christmas story about Mattis" going around in Marine circles. Once, on the night of Christmas, he replaced a young officer, whom he sent to celebrate the holiday with his family. Mattis explained his action to a superior general as follows: "Sir, I looked at the duty schedule for today, and there was a young major on duty who is married and who has a family, and since I am a bachelor, I thought why this major should miss the opportunity spend Christmas with my family, and so I took over his responsibility."
In 2008, the television series Killer Generation was released, in which actor Robert John Burke played General James Mattis.