Known as “Mad Dog,” for his impressive leadership in Iraq and Afghanistan, retired Gen. James Mattis of the U.S. Marine Corps has now gained favor with the president-elect.
“We are going to appoint Mad Dog Mattis as our secretary of defense,” Trump said at a rally in Ohio. A formal announcement of the nomination is forthcoming.
Donald Trump, who is building his administration as he prepares to take office next January, needs to have his choices passed by Congress.
Mattis is popular with military personnel, and Trump called him “the closest thing we have to Gen. George Patton.” The Marine officer is known for giving brutal yet thoughtful advice, such as “Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.”
But the soldier will have to win a victory over bureaucracy to get the desk job: those who have been on active military duty cannot be secretary of defense if they served within the last seven years.
Mattis retired in 2013 after serving 44 years in the Marines. If Congress is willing, it can pass a special bill to allow him on Trump’s cabinet.
Front page image: President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. Credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster