Zinke and Mattis
@SecretaryZinke/Twitter

Most civilians first came to know Gen. James Mattis when he was nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as secretary of defense.

However, former Navy SEAL and now Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has known Mattis for over a decade, and his experience with the general in Fallujah, Iraq, left a lasting impression.

He related Mattis's command style to the “old George Patton mode” and rejected any notion that “Mad-Dog” was an “armchair general.”

“If a Marine re-upped at a location where he was present, he would personally go to that Marine and thank him or her for rejoining,” The Washington Times reported Zinke wrote in his book, “American Commander.”

He added that Mattis “put a premium” on forging connections with those whom he was leading, which was a quality he truly admired.

The interior secretary said that when it came to describing, “how influential this man was to me and many others who fought alongside him,” he could “go on for pages.”

On Saturday, Zinke posted a photo of himself and Mattis and wished the general, who helped shaped his life, a happy Veterans Day:

He added that now they're both serving their country a second time through their work under Trump.

Zinke also shared via Twitter that the two, along with Vice President Pence, attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery and honored Vietnam veterans in a separate ceremony, as well.

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