Thursday, December 1, 2016

An endorsement of General Mattis

Via Iver

General Krulak thinks very highly of him. That's a good sign. He'd be a great choice for Secretary of Defense.

A couple of months ago, when I told General Krulak, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, now the chair of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, that we were having General Mattis speak this evening, he said, “Let me tell you a Jim Mattis story.” General Krulak said, when he was Commandant of the Marine Corps, every year, starting about a week before Christmas, he and his wife would bake hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Christmas cookies. They would package them in small bundles.

 Then on Christmas day, he would load his vehicle. At about 4 a.m., General Krulak would drive himself to every Marine guard post in the Washington-Annapolis-Baltimore area and deliver a small package of Christmas cookies to whatever Marines were pulling guard duty that day. He said that one year, he had gone down to Quantico as one of his stops to deliver Christmas cookies to the Marines on guard duty. He went to the command center and gave a package to the lance corporal who was on duty.

 He asked, “Who’s the officer of the day?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it’s Brigadier General Mattis.” And General Krulak said, “No, no, no. I know who General Mattis is. I mean, who’s the officer of the day today, Christmas day?” The lance corporal, feeling a little anxious, said, “Sir, it is Brigadier General Mattis.”

 General Krulak said that, about that time, he spotted in the back room a cot, or a daybed. He said, “No, Lance Corporal. Who slept in that bed last night?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it was Brigadier General Mattis.”

About that time, General Krulak said that General Mattis came in, in a duty uniform with a sword, and General Krulak said, “Jim, what are you doing here on Christmas day? Why do you have duty?” General Mattis told him that the young officer who was scheduled to have duty on Christmas day had a family, and General Mattis decided it was better for the young officer to spend Christmas Day with his family, and so he chose to have duty on Christmas Day.

General Krulak said, “That’s the kind of officer that Jim Mattis is.”


  1. Lots of Generals do this sort of thing. Pesonally, I would prefer a General that had some real war stories to tell. Like how he personally gutted a Haji with a K-bar. But if all he has is a story about how he makes Christmas cookies, ok. The Generals I work for send me a Birthday card every year. Actually, their secretaries keep an illegal database of birthdays for every employee and type up a folder full of cards every month for his signature. But generals all know you have to pretend you care to get ahead.

    As I said on my blog, I am against any general being in charge of the Pentagon. There is enough inbreeding as it is in the military. The SECDEF should be someone who is unimpressed by other generals, uncowed by the bureaucrats, and unconvinced that the way we have always done things is the right answer. No general can do that.

    1. Like how he personally gutted a Haji with a K-bar.

      Agreed. For some reason reminds me of this:

      "Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!"


      No general can do that.

      Seems a retired General could..?

  2. No. A retired general doesn't have the energy to upset the applecart for all his old friends. Nor does he have the courage of his convictions to say that the system that raised and promoted him to the top, is wrong. He doesn't just drink the Kool aid. He like the taste. He recommends it to all his friends. He wants to come back into the "building" (what us insiders call the pentagon, as if there is only one building) because every general HATES being retired. They go from being the most important guy in the universe to being an old guy who no one pays attention to. Every General I ever met would give their nuts to come back from retirement. On top of being a no one, they are all convinced that the world can't get along without them. They are all indispensable and infallible. The Army alone has over 400 serving active generals. And every one of them thinks the Army will suffer greatly if he (she) isn't there to keep things going. But every time they retire one, a Colonel is ready to instantly replace him. The world goes on. Nothing changes except the deck chairs and the frequency of Christmas cookies.

    1. :) Did you by chance know Steve Shea? He retired from the Pentagon a few years back as a LTC.


      01/02/09 at 06:12 PM


      "FYI...the Army blocks NamSouth (and in the months to come, I expect much more will get spiked) - are you surprised? Oddly, the Air Force did not block it, even though they tend to be more rigid in their application of Internet regulations."

      The writer (LTC) retired a few months later rather than put up with the PC there and other reason. His father was a general officer in WWII, and his son entered VMI last fall.

  3. No. There's 27,000 people working here. Honestly, no one really knows how many because they are scattered among multiple services and independent agencies that don't report to each other, and many have nearby leased office space too that still count as "here", and finally there are the multiple and various ways there are to hire and account for people by contract, by task, by hour, or by position. Seriously. No one knows.

    1. My friend was off on 09/11 and his section was hit by the airplane.

    2. Facebook just reminded me of an article I posted in 2013.