James Mattis facts for kids

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James Mattis
James Mattis official photo.jpg
26th United States Secretary of Defense
In office
January 20, 2017 – December 31, 2018
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Ash Carter
Succeeded by Patrick M. Shanahan (acting)
Commander of United States Central Command
In office
August 11, 2010 – March 22, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by John R. Allen (acting)
Succeeded by Lloyd Austin
Commander of the United States Joint Forces Command
In office
November 9, 2007 – August 11, 2010
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Lance L. Smith
Succeeded by Keith Huber (acting)
Supreme Allied Commander of Transformation
In office
November 9, 2007 – September 8, 2009
Preceded by Lance Smith
Succeeded by Stéphane Abrial
Personal details
Born
James Norman Mattis

September 8, 1950 (1950-09-08) (age 68)
Pullman, Washington, U.S.
Political party Independent
Alma mater Central Washington University (BA)
Military service
Nickname(s)
  • "Chaos" (callsign)
  • "Warrior Monk"
  • "Mad Dog"
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1969–2013
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands
  • U.S. Central Command
  • U.S. Joint Forces Command
  • Supreme Allied Commander Transformation
  • I Marine Expeditionary Force
  • U.S. Marine Forces Central Command
  • Marine Corps Combat Development Command
  • 1st Marine Division
  • 7th Marine Regiment
  • 1st Battalion, 7th Marines
Battles/wars
Awards
  • Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
  • Navy Distinguished Service Medal
  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit
  • Bronze Star (with Valor)
  • Meritorious Service Medal (3)

James Norman "Mad Dog" Mattis (born September 8, 1950) is a retired United States Marine Corps general and was the 26th United States Secretary of Defense. On January 20, 2017, the United States Senate confirmed Mattis' nomination as Defense secretary with a 98-1 vote. He last served as the 11th Commander of United States Central Command from August 11, 2010 to March 22, 2013.

On December 20, 2018, Mattis announced his plans to retire on February 28, 2019. However after reading his resignation letter criticizing Trump's treatment of American allies, Trump ordered Mattis fired on December 31, 2018.

Early life

Mattis was born on September 8, 1950, in Pullman, Washington. He was raised in Richland, Washington. Mattis earned a BA degree in history from Central Washington University in 1971.

Military career

Mattis is known for carrying out the COIN strategy. Before President Obama appointed him to replace General Petraeus on August 11, 2010, he commanded United States Joint Forces Command from November 9, 2007 to August 2010 and served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation from November 9, 2007 to September 8, 2009 at the same time. Prior to that, he commanded I Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Forces Central Command, and 1st Marine Division during the Iraq War.

United States Secretary of Defense (2017–2018)

On December 1, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced that Mattis would be nominated to serve as United States Secretary of Defense in the coming administration. He was confirmed by the United States Senate with a 98-1 vote. On the same day, he was sworn-in by Vice President Mike Pence.

On April 5, 2017, Mattis called the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack "a heinous act" and said it would be treated accordingly. On April 10, Mattis warned the Syrian government against using chemical weapons again.

Mattis has voiced support for a Saudi Arabian–led military campaign against Yemen's Shiite rebels. He asked Trump to remove restrictions on U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia.

Mattis insisted that the U.S. would remain in Syria following the defeat of ISIS to ensure they did not regroup. However, Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from Syria on December 19. The next day, Mattis submitted his resignation after failing to persuade Trump to reconsider. In his resignation letter, Mattis criticized Trump for not respecting allied nations while criticizing China and Russia's authoritarian rule. In response to the letter, Trump ordered Mattis' firing on January 1, nearly two months earlier than Mattis planned leaving office.

Personal life

Mattis is a lifelong bachelor who has never been married and has no children. He is nicknamed "The Warrior Monk" because of his bachelor life and lifelong devotion to the study of war.

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