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A General Mattis Christmas Story

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.”

null1The story above was told by Dr. Albert C. Pierce, the Director of the Center for the Study of Professional Military Ethics at The United States Naval Academy. He was introducing General James Mattis who gave a lecture on Ethical Challenges in Contemporary Conflict in the spring of 2006. This was taken from the transcript of that lecture.



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  1. How heartwarming.

    IF we were lawfully supposed to have a full time military (well, we are, but it is the people as the Militia trained as the military is trained) then that would be a generous gesture. But we are not, and that is in writing. If he, and all the other ranked members of the UN’s military (remember, Dempsey and Panetta – h-ll also the Bush’s – gave the US military – ALL branches over to the UN to use as their enforcement arm – that is on the Senate hearing videos) kept their Oath to the US Constitution, it would have meant that they were leaders of their own states Militia, maybe coordinating Militias between states, or the Militia for the general (federal) government. ALL would have been home for the holidays, maybe some in shifts.

    Our military are attacking other nations for the UN, for banking, for the corporations who make BILLIONS selling weapons to all sides, etc. If those who have been serving since Obama was illegally and unlawfully placed into position as a US President, NONE of them would have accepted any orders until that was totally straightened out in a lawful manner. Their Oath is to the US Constitution, not to any general, president, corporation, foreign entity. That is because the US Constitution is in writing, and all who are Oath Bound to it are REQUIRED to know it, support and defend it.

    Those that have are imprisoned – some murdered. If you do not LEARN what your Oath means, what your decision to defend your country means, then you are assisting in the destruction of our nation.

    Do not take my word for it, go READ the blasted thing we are all Oath bound to (US Constitution). I am sorry that I am so angry all, but we turn our heads at treason, at corruption at high levels BECAUSE we do not even know our own duty to our nation. We do not know that our property, of all types, are supposed to be protected by, and from those that serve within our governments. That all that corporate aid, foreign aid (all just different types of welfare) is to destroy our nation. Free Trade – ever read it? I did, and started fighting it from its conception. Obamacare – same, I have read 3 updates made to it. Quit letting anyone tell you what to think. I do not want to tell you what to think, I want you to start thinking for yourselves.

    Natural rights- one way to know what they are is did people do it before the creation of governments. Did they drink water, wash in it, use it for their gardens, defend themselves, etc. Did they build homes, did they garden, own animals, farm, ranch, fish, hunt, etc. Those are all protected rights, protected from being taken, messed with by those who serve within our governments.

    Things are going to get bad, but no where near as bad as they could be if all, or most, Oath Takers kept their Oath. WE can feed most everyone if we work together and not let those who will work against our nation grab their food, water, weapons – and the EO’s are already written, have been for years to do those things. Even worse, to take the people and FORCE them to work for nothing – slavery for the deplorables is already in writing. So ask your self this, are you going to follow orders like those did in Nazi Germany, Stalin/Lenin’s Russia, etc? Americans are supposed to think. It would be much safer for our nation if you did both, read the US Constitution, your state’s Constitution, and think for yourself about your Oath.

    Consider these things if you feel like it…

    Daniel Webster: “We may be tossed upon an ocean where we can see no land – nor, perhaps, the sun or stars. But there is a chart and a compass for us to study, to consult, and to obey. That chart is the Constitution.”

    A. L. A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, No. 854: Extraordinary conditions, such as an economic crisis, may call for extraordinary remedies, but they cannot create or enlarge constitutional power. P. 295 U. S. 528

    And Congress is not permitted by the Constitution to abdicate, or to transfer to others, the essential legislative functions with which it is vested. Art. I, § 1; Art. I, § 8, par. 18. Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan, 293 U. S. 388. P. 295 U. S. 529.

    And Congress may leave to selected instrumentalities the making of subordinate rules within prescribed limits, and the determination of facts to which the policy, as declared by Congress, is to apply; but it must itself lay down the policies and establish standards. P. 295 U. S. 530.

    And The delegation of legislative power sought to be made to the President by § 3 of the National Industrial Recovery Act of June 16, 1933, is unconstitutional (pp. 295 U. S. 529 et seq.)

    And Codes permitting monopolies or monopolistic practices are forbidden (media, etc).

    Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398, 425 (1934): “Emergency does not create power. Emergency does not increase granted power or remove or diminish the restrictions upon power granted or reserved. The Constitution was adopted in a period of grave emergency. Its grants of power to the Federal Government and its limitations of the power of the States were determined in the light of emergency and they are not altered by emergency.”

    Billings v. Hall (1857), 7 C. 1.: “Right of protecting property, declared inalienable by constitution, is not mere right to protect it by individual force, but right to protect it by law of land, and force of body politic.”

    “Sovereignty itself is, of course, not subject to law, for it is the author and source of law; but in our system, while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government, sovereignty itself remains with the people, by whom and for whom all government exists and acts.” Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356

    God Bless All of You, Stay Safe

    f there were never intended to be action to defend the Constitution from those who are domestically attempting to destroy its power and authority, why would each Oath require it of those who take the Oaths?

    Chief Tecumseh: “When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

  2. Ditto. We have endured 8 years of amateurism in D.C. It is long overdue for us to have QUALIFIED and CAPABLE leadership at the top. These military leaders have “skin in the game” and are the brightest of the brightest. Mr. Trump may have saved America, and installing these types of quality personnel in cabinet positions will ensure that we make sound, strategic, and realistic military decisions. Long Live the Republic!!!

  3. @CAL “I am sorry that I am so angry all, but we turn our heads at treason, at corruption at high levels BECAUSE we do not even know our own duty to our nation.”

    Many are frustrated and angry. The election is a testimony of frustration. I see the condition as a lack of outrage, the kind of outrage that triggers action, but thus no action or little action. Those few that squeal the loudest are quickly put down in some manner. We thinkers can make a difference with a sustained message to our newly elected president. He has our ear provided we sustain the noise.

  4. Also keep in mind that Gen. Krulak was himself out and about doing the rounds on Christmas Day – distributing “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds” of cookies to his fellow Marines, on Christmas Day, that he and his wife had baked So yeah, that’s the kind of officer they BOTH are.

    1. Both are part of the lineage of Chesty Puller, the Marines Marine. General Puller would not permit his officers to possess any item of gear that was not carried by the lowest private. Regrettably officers of this stripe and caliber are increasingly rare, perhaps because of the purge that has thinned the ranks of real men and warriors the past eight years.

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