General Jim Mattis

Biography: 

General Jim Mattis, US Marine Corps (Ret.), returns as the Davies Family Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution on May 1, 2019, after having served with distinction as the nation’s 26th Secretary of Defense in the administration.

In December of 2016, President Donald J. Trump nominated Mattis for Secretary of Defense and he was confirmed a month later. Mattis left Hoover to apply his extraordinary knowledge and experience to help the President shape his national defense policy.

General Mattis commanded at multiple levels in his forty-three year career as an infantry Marine. As a lieutenant in the western Pacific, he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander in the Third Marine Division. As a captain in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, he commanded a rifle company and a weapons company in the First Marine Brigade. As a major he was the battalion officer at the Naval Academy Prep School and commanded Marine recruiters in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. As a lieutenant colonel he commanded an assault battalion breaching the Iraqi minefields in Operation Desert Storm. As a colonel he commanded 7th Marine Regiment and, on Pentagon duty, he served as the Department of Defense Executive Secretary. As a brigadier general he was the Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Following 9-11 he commanded the First Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Naval Task Force 58 in operations against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. As a major general, he commanded the First Marine Division during the initial attack and subsequent stability operations in Iraq. In his first tour as a lieutenant general, he was in charge of Marine Corps Combat Development at Quantico and subsequently served as Commander, I Marine Expeditionary Force/Commander, U.S. Marine Forces in the Middle East. As a general he served concurrently as the Commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation.

Before retiring in 2013 he was the Commander of U.S. Central Command, directing military operations of over 200,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and allied forces across the Middle East. He is co-editor of the book, Warriors & Citizens: American Views of Our Military.

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Recent Commentary

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

A New American Grand Strategy

by General Jim Mattisvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, February 26, 2015

We must adopt a firm and consistent stance in defense of our values. 

Taylor Jones cartoon

“The Enemy Is Not Waiting”

by General Jim Mattisvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

America is engaged in a clash not only of arms but of ideas, according to a man who understands both kinds of combat.

Capitol Building
Analysis and Commentary

General Jim Mattis testifies before the US Senate Committee on Armed Services

by General Jim Mattisvia US Senate
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

General Jim Mattis testified before the US Senate Committee on Armed Services in the hearing on Global Challenges and U.S. National Security Strategy.  Read his statement.

General James Mattis speaks at Hoover's 2014 Fall Retreat

The Worsening Situation in the Middle East–and America’s Role

by General Jim Mattisvia Fellow Talks
Monday, October 20, 2014

At Hoover's 2014 Fall Retreat, General James Mattis, an Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Hoover, discussed US foreign policy in a talk entitled “The Worsening Situation in the Middle East–and America’s Role.”

Blank Section (Placeholder)Interviews

General Jim Mattis testifies before the House Intelligence Committee

by General Jim Mattisvia C-SPAN
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow General Jim Mattis testifies on the ISIS Terrorist Threat House Intelligence Committee.

Featured Commentary

Pruning the U.S. Military: We Will Do Less But Must Not Do It Less Well

by General Jim Mattisvia Strategika
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Clearly America's military will continue to shrink. Across our body politic from fiscal conservatives to those who support increasing entitlements to those unimpressed with the last ten or forty years of America's role on the international stage, there is no longer in Washington adequate vision or sufficient political will to restrain the downsizing of our military. 

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