President-Elect Donald Trump has nominated Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis as his Secretary of Defense. The General, who is 66, is considered a legend among our military members, and this letter provides some indication as to why.
“On your young shoulders rests the hopes of mankind,” General Mattis stated in his letter to his Marines going to Iraq. “Keep faith in your comrades on your left and right and Marine Air overhead. Fight with a happy heart and a strong spirit,” as per Business Insider.
General Mattis is an admirable name in the military, and many aspire to be like him. He is beloved by Marines and even the other branches of the military. He has led many engagements and inspires strong morale in his men and women.
In 1991, Mattis led his Marine battalion in an assault during the first Gulf War, according to Allen B. West, and he commanded an Afghanistan task force in 2001. In 2003, when Mattis was Major General Mattis, he motivated the young generation of Marines to go into battle.
Every Marine under General Mattis received a letter, written by Mattis himself, on March 19, 2003.
“When I give you the word, we will cross the line of departure,” General Mattis’s letter stated. He mentioned that the Marines would be fighting with other troops who chose to enter the battle to destroy the enemy, Saddam Hussein.
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Mattis stated in his letter all of the cruel things Hussein did to his people—torturing, imprisoning, and raping them for decades. He even invaded neighboring countries just because he could. And so, Mattis boosted the morale of his Marines, saying it was time to end Hussein’s “reign of terror.”
“Our fight is not with the Iraqi people. Nor is it with any members of the Iraqi Army who choose to surrender,” Mattis stated. The goal was to get rid of Saddam Hussein and, if necessary, anyone who chose to stand with him.
Mattis warned his Marines that there may be chemical weapons, innocents used as human shields, and many other kinds of “treachery” Hussein would use to save his own skin. Mattis encouraged them to never let their guard down and to expect everything.
“Take it all in stride. Be the hunter, not the hunted,” the general said. “Use good judgment and act in the best interest of our nation.” He also instructed his Marines to “keep your honor clean.” This is something everyone should do whether they are a service member, a politician, or otherwise.
It’s not surprising that Donald Trump wants Mattis, a retired Marine hero, as the head of the Defense Department. He has tons of experience working for the Department of Defense, and this experience will certainly aid him in the job. Mattis is an honorable man and the perfect choice for this great nation.