General Jim Mattis

Davies Family Distinguished Fellow
Biography: 

General Jim Mattis, US Marine Corps (Ret.), is the Davies Family Distinguished Fellow, 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 the author of the New York Times bestseller, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, and the co-editor of the book, Warriors & Citizens: American Views of Our Military.

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Interviews

Former Secretary Of Defense Jim Mattis On Bloomberg Best

interview with General Jim Mattisvia Bloomberg
Monday, September 9, 2019

(23:17) Hoover Institution fellow Jim Mattis discusses his new book, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead. Mattis notes that we still need boots on the ground in Afghanistan.

In the News

Review: Call Sign Chaos - Learning To Lead

featuring General Jim Mattisvia NBC2
Monday, September 9, 2019

The Marines teach you, above all, how to adapt, improvise, and overcome. But they expect you to have done your homework, to have mastered your profession...

Interviews

General James Mattis' Lessons In Leadership

interview with General Jim Mattisvia Bloomberg
Monday, September 9, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Jim Mattis discusses protecting the US against terrorism, the importance of a strong military, and his new book, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead.

Interviews

James Mattis Says Trump Should "Verify, Then Trust" In Negotiations With Taliban

interview with General Jim Mattisvia CBS News
Sunday, September 8, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Jim Mattis said he supports efforts by the Trump administration to secure a diplomatic end to the 18-year conflict with Taliban militants in Afghanistan, but cautioned against a peace agreement that doesn't prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for terrorist groups determined to harm the US.

General Jim Mattis bio photo
Interviews

Jim Mattis On Firing Line

interview with General Jim Mattisvia Firing Line with Margaret Hoover
Friday, September 6, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Jim Mattis discusses the importance of allies and America’s role in conflicts in the Middle East. Mattis also explains why we should never label political opponents ‘enemies of the people’.

In the News

Mattis Calls Out Deniers Of Climate Change, Urges Them To Ensure Next Generation Isn’t ‘Caught Flat-Footed’

featuring General Jim Mattisvia IJR
Friday, September 6, 2019

Former Defense Department Secretary James Mattis called on those who disagree with the threat of climate change to reconsider their position to protect future generations. The former defense secretary has been making the rounds publicizing the recent release of his book, giving more insight into political views after his exit from the Trump administration early this year.

In the News

Here’s How To Get Through To Red-State Americans On Climate Change

quoting General Jim Mattis, George P. Shultzvia The Washington Post
Friday, September 6, 2019

As hurricanes become more intense, flooding more common and wildfires more deadly, Americans — regardless of their party affiliation — are dying from extreme weather events and are seeing their livelihoods damaged. The searing experience of Hurricane Harvey in Texas in 2017 might not have prompted Republican politicians to fight “climate change," but perhaps they can have a rational conversation about “rising ocean levels.” 

Pakistan flag image
In the News

Pakistan Most Dangerous Country, Its Leaders Don't Care About Their People: Jim Mattis

featuring General Jim Mattisvia The Economic Times
Thursday, September 5, 2019
Terming Pakistan as the "most dangerous" country for its nuclear capabilities and radicalisation, former US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis has said the tragedy for Pakistani people is that they do not have leaders who care about their future.

Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead

by General Jim Mattis, Bing Westvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A clear-eyed account of learning how to lead in a chaotic world, by General Jim Mattis--the former Secretary of Defense and one of the most formidable strategic thinkers of our time--and Bing West, a former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine.

In the News

Mattis Says China's Crackdown On Hong Kong Protesters Is A Sign Of China's Dangerous Ambitions

featuring General Jim Mattisvia Business Insider
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Retired Gen. Jim Mattis, whose resignation sent shockwaves through the US military and its allies last year, opted to answer questions about political leaders like President Trump obliquely at a Tuesday think tank event. But he wasn't so tightlipped on another topic: China.

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