Jim Mattis facts for kids
|26th United States Secretary of Defense|
January 20, 2017 – December 31, 2018
|Deputy||Robert O. Work
Patrick M. Shanahan
|Preceded by||Ash Carter|
|Succeeded by||Patrick M. Shanahan (acting)|
|Commander of the United States Central Command|
August 11, 2010 – March 22, 2013
|Preceded by||David Petraeus|
|Succeeded by||Lloyd Austin|
|Commander of the United States Joint Forces Command|
November 9, 2007 – August 11, 2010
|Preceded by||Lance L. Smith|
|Succeeded by||Raymond T. Odierno|
|Supreme Allied Commander Transformation|
November 9, 2007 – September 8, 2009
|Preceded by||Lance L. Smith|
|Succeeded by||Stéphane Abrial|
James Norman Mattis
September 8, 1950
Pullman, Washington, U.S.
|Net worth||$5 million|
|Branch/service||United States Marines|
|Years of service||1969–2013|
James Norman Mattis (born September 8, 1950) is an American veteran and former government official who served as the 26th United States Secretary of Defense from January 2017 through December 2018. He resigned over policy differences with President Donald Trump. A retired United States Marine Corps general, Mattis served in the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War.
Mattis was commissioned in the Marine Corps through the Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps after graduating from Central Washington University. A career Marine, he gained a reputation among his peers for "intellectualism," and eventually advanced to the rank of general. From 2007 to 2010, he commanded the United States Joint Forces Command and concurrently served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. He was Commander of United States Central Command from 2010 to 2013. After retiring from the military, he served in several private sector roles, including as a board member of Theranos.
Mattis was nominated as Secretary of Defense by President-elect Trump, and confirmed by the Senate on January 20, 2017. He needed a waiver from Congress to allow his nomination to be considered, as he had only been separated from the military for three years and U.S. federal law requires at least seven years of retirement for former military personnel to be appointed Secretary of Defense. As Secretary of Defense, Mattis affirmed the United States' commitment to defending longtime ally South Korea in the wake of the 2017 North Korea crisis. An opponent of proposed collaboration with China and Russia, Mattis stressed what he saw as their "threat to the American-led world order". Mattis occasionally voiced his disagreement with certain Trump administration policies, opposing the proposed withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and budget cuts that hamper the ability to monitor the impacts of climate change.
Mattis has never been married and has no children. He proposed to a woman, but she called off the wedding days before it was to occur, not wanting to burden his career. He is nicknamed "The Warrior Monk" because of his bachelorhood and lifelong devotion to the study of war.
Mattis is a Catholic, and has been described as "devout" and "committed." During the 2003 Iraq invasion, he often prayed with general John F. Kelly on Sundays. The Trump transition team's formal biography of Mattis described him as "the living embodiment of the Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis." He has declined when asked by reporters to discuss his faith in public. In a 2003 PBS interview, Mattis recalled how his Marines followed advice from his chaplain on gaining the support of Iraqi citizens: "On the suggestion of my Catholic chaplain the Marines would take chilled drinking water in bottles and walk out amongst the protesters and hand it out. It is just hard to throw a rock at somebody who has given you a cold drink of water and it's 120 degrees outside."
In popular culture
- Mattis is portrayed by Robert John Burke in the 2008 HBO miniseries Generation Kill, depicting the events of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
- Mattis is also known for the internet meme depicting him as "Saint Mattis of Quantico, Patron Saint of Chaos."
- Mattis is commonly 'reported on' by the military satire website Duffel Blog for potentially being fired, winning an 'arms race' with Russia, and crossing the Potomac to launch a Roman-style coup d'état.
Images for kids
Jim Mattis Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.