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 co-editor of the book, Warriors & Citizens: American Views of Our Military.

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Recent Commentary

Charles Hill and General James Mattis on the Iran Deal, Democracy, and Freedom
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Charles Hill And General James Mattis On The Iran Deal, Democracy, And Freedom

interview with Charles Hill, General Jim Mattisvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Recorded on  July 16, 2015 - Hoover fellows Charles Hill and James Mattis discuss the Iran deal and the state of the world on Uncommon Knowledge with Hoover fellow Peter Robinson. In their view the United States has handed over its leading role to Iran and provided a dowry along with it. 

Analysis and Commentary

The Meaning Of Their Service

by General Jim Mattisvia Wall Street Journal
Friday, April 17, 2015

A retired four-star Marine Corps general on the clarifying effect of combat experience, the poison of cynicism and how veterans can help revive American optimism.

US flag on military helmet

The Meaning of Their Service

by General Jim Mattis
Friday, April 17, 2015

A retired four-star Marine Corps general on the clarifying effect of combat experience, the poison of cynicism and how veterans can help revive American optimism.

Hoover fellow Peter Robinson interviews Jim Hake and General Jim Mattis
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Jim Hake, General Jim Mattis, And Spirit Of America

interview with Jim Hake, General Jim Mattisvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, March 13, 2015

Spirit of America began in 2003, and the idea gained enormous support, including from General Jim Mattis, commander of some of the first missions in Iraq. Today, Spirit of America is working around the world, providing assistance in response to local needs identified by our troops, from sewing machines to vocational training, wherever there is a need.

General Jim Mattis brings insight and clarity to the nature of war
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General Jim Mattis Brings Insight And Clarity To The Nature Of War

interview with General Jim Mattisvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, March 6, 2015

In this episode, Uncommon Knowledge is honored to have retired four-star General James Mattis. 

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Using Military Force Against ISIS

by General Jim Mattisvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

We need to match our commitment to the threat. 

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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

featuring 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.”

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