President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday night that he will appoint legendary Retired Marine Corps Gen. James T. “Mad Dog” Mattis, 66, to take over the reins of the Department of Defense.
The hard-charging Marine served 44 years in the military, the last three as head of U.S. Central Command, before being sent to pasture by the Obama administration. He oversaw wars throughout the Middle East during his career, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
These are the 7 most alpha quotes from Trump’s future secretary of defense
Trump confirmed the news in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the start of his “thank you tour” to supporters for his election.
He told the crowd, “Don’t let it outside the room, you promise? We are going to appoint ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as our secretary of defense. But we’re not announcing it until Monday, so don’t tell anybody. Mad Dog! He is great.”
Tonight in Ohio, President-elect @realDonaldTrump reveals he will nominate General #MadDog Mattis as secretary of defense. #AmericaFirst ?? pic.twitter.com/e8B0ylK29n
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) December 2, 2016
Mattis, who never married, earned the respect of all his subordinates.
“He’s just a natural leader — there’s a reason why every single Marine absolutely loves that guy,” said former Marine Sgt. Chris Lessard, an Iraq combat vet and program director of Massachusetts Fallen Heroes told the Boston Herald. “I think what most people are going to like from a military standpoint is his lack of being politically correct. He’s a smart, sharp guy.”
And that admiration crosses service lines.
“He is an impressive man from top to bottom,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Tad Oelstrom, the director of the National Security Program at Harvard University. “He is extremely focused. Probably one of the best things you can say about him is he is extremely well read. I don’t think he’s ever walked into a problem without knowing more than anybody else in the room about the problem.”
Social media exploded with excitement over this announcement.
Remember Gen James “MAD DOG” #Mattis, USMC fired by Obama for being too tough on enemies!
We’re PROUD to have him! pic.twitter.com/GomtPwHSkj
— Tennessee GOP (@TEN_GOP) December 1, 2016
How I’m about to sleep knowing Mad Dog Mattis is SecDef pic.twitter.com/GlLtoYYVAE
— Jared Wyand ?? (@JaredWyand) December 2, 2016
When I think of Mad Dog I want to wave the American flag, eat a bacon cheeseburger, throw some lead down range, and fist bump a bald eagle.
— Leah the Boss (@LeahRBoss) December 2, 2016
General James “MAD DOG” USMC #mattisforsecdef
ISIS brace yourselves…#ThankYouTour2016 #PresidentElectTrump pic.twitter.com/4FlC62S49Z
— Christie ??? (@ChristieC733) December 2, 2016
General “MadDog” Mattis has been named the new Defense Secretary. As a result, ISIS has surrendered. And so has France, just to be safe. ??
— Cloyd Rivers Pics (@CloydRiversPics) December 2, 2016
As a gay man, I can comfortably and truthfully say that our government has been a giant pansy the last 8 years. #MadDog #Cincinnati
— Scott Presler VA (@ScottPresler) December 2, 2016
“Mad Dog” #Mattis
No more playing around. pic.twitter.com/6bdw2lZptv
— Alana Mastrangelo (@ARmastrangelo) December 1, 2016
“I don’t lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word.”
General James #MadDog Mattis pic.twitter.com/W2QklT5F1N
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) December 2, 2016
Mattis, however, faces a bit of a legal hurdle to his appointment. By law, a retired military officer may not serve as defense secretary until he has been retired seven years. He retired four years ago.
It would literally take an act of Congress to get by this requirement, which is exactly what happened in 1950 when then-President Harry S. Truman appointed retired Gen. George C. Marshall to head the Defense Department. At that time the requirement was 10 years retirement before such an appointment.
Mattis has been described as a hard-hitting, no-nonsense leader who nonetheless exhibited a scholarly side by reading Marcus Aurelius on his campaigns and assigning reading lists to his subordinates.
The following clip, via ABC News, tells a little history of the Mattis legend.
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