The news Donald Trump is going to nominate General James Mattis to be his Secretary of Defense was greeted with near universal acclaim. Mattis has been praised by Republicans and Democrats alike and more importantly, by the men and women who have served with him and under his command.
Mattis is known for being well read, calm under pressure and not given to any “cowboy” like behavior.
‘Mad Dog’ Mattis is also known for his quick wit and the ability to give great quotes, and I have no doubt that will continue while he is Secretary of Defense, a position for which he is expected to win confirmation, easily. Here are some of this best over the years:
1. “The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.”
2. “No war is over until the enemy says it’s over. We may think it over, we may declare it over, but in fact, the enemy gets a vote.”
3. “You are part of the world’s most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.”
4. “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
5. “The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some a**holes in the world that just need to be shot.”
6. “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f**k with me, I’ll kill you all.” (This beauty was delivered to Iraqi military officers in 2003 after sending tanks and artillery home)
7. “I don’t lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word.”
8. “Marines don’t know how to spell the word defeat.”
9. “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. It’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”
Some people are likely going to be “concerned” about Mattis and if he’ll be as candid in his role of Secretary of Defense. These quotes from Mattis were all when he was on active duty and was often speaking to young men and women who are used to hearing superior officers speak with such candor.
It’s unlikely quotes from Mattis will be as….colorful as the ones above but it’s likely he’ll still have some zingers in him.