James Mattis will go down in history as one of the greatest Marines of all time.
The current 'Secretary of Offense' is beloved for his tactical command and tough talk, but to those who served under him, it's Mattis's servant leadership that makes him so beloved. Stories abound about “The Warrior Monk” camping out with his troops in the field and living on the front lines of battle when he very well could have slept in an air-conditioned safety of a base.
Mattis told IJR in February that he does his own laundry at the Pentagon. He also told us he prefers the nickname 'Chaos' which stands for “Colonel Has An Outstanding Solution.”
Recently, a defense reporter posted a 1990 video of then-40-year-old Lt. Col. James Mattis, when he was commander of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines preparing for Operation Desert Shield.
The interview was conducted by a young Tom Brokaw, who was watching Mattis's troops fill sand bags in scorching heat during a ramp up to the invasion of Iraq. Brokaw asked:
“These are Marines, but they’re young kids, they’ve never been in this kind of a situation before … Are you having to deal with nerves, as well?”
Mattis, in typical fashion, responded bluntly:
“No. They’re pretty calm, pretty matter of fact. They know what’s expected of them and they’re all pretty hard charging and ready to go.”
Watch the exchange below:
These comments mirror what now Secretary of Defense Mattis told Trump Monday on the anniversary of 9/11:
According to previous IJR reporting:
Mattis began his remarks commemorating the nearly 3,000 lives lost that morning around the country. He then critiqued the “temporizing” of the fight against radical Islam, a veiled shot at the previous administration. Mattis, in his trademark fashion, was blunt, saying, “we Americans are not made of cotton candy. We are not seaweed drifting in the current; we are not intimidated by our enemies.”
Mattis then paused, turned away from the podium, and looked directly at Trump and said:
“Mr. President, your military does not scare.”
Yes, this 27-year-old video proves Mattis was and always will be a badass.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.