Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis wasted no time in asserting his leadership after he was overwhelmingly confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Friday.
Almost immediately after his swearing-in, Mattis sent a letter to DoD employees, showcasing his legendary command style as he prepares to head the Pentagon.
“It’s good to be back and I’m grateful to serve alongside you as Secretary of Defense,” Mattis wrote. “Together with the Intelligence Community, we are the sentinels and guardians of our nation. We need only look to you, the uniformed and civilian members of the Department and your families, to see the fundamental unity of our country.”
“You represent an America committed to the common good; an America that is never complacent about defending its freedoms; and America that remains a steady beacon of hope for all mankind.
Every action we take will be designed to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future. Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances. Further, we are devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of Congress and the American people.”
In conclusion, Mattis expressed confidence that everyone working alongside him at the Defense Department is up to the task.
“I am confident you will do your part,” he concluded. “I pledge to you I’ll do my best as your Secretary.”
Mattis also revealed in his letter how he would avoid conflicts of interest due to his previously undisclosed and unreleased book.
Mattis, 66, was sworn in on Friday after President Donald Trump and Congress approved a break with decades of precedent in allowing a recently retired general to serve as secretary of defense. Mattis retired in 2013 as chief of U.S. Central Command.
Mattis coming out of retirement has been with great fanfare from military veterans, who believe the former Marine general's impressive record of combat experience will make his an outstanding defense secretary.