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The Truth About ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, Trump’s Defense Secretary Pick

Gen. Mattis a modern-day tactician

| – 12/2/2016

Donald Trump will nominate General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis to be his Secretary of Defense, which has prompted an increased interest in the general’s history, philosophy, and accomplishments.

An email from Mattis to a colleague from 2003 has surfaced, thanks to the work of military historian, Jill R. Russell, who published the correspondence with permission, in its original form, to the blog Strife.

Mattis stressed the importance of military leaders reading extensively and regularly, and studying from the experiences of others, in order to develop a knowledge base deep enough to preserve lives in the field.

The letter was shared virally via email, as it was written long before social media was in popular use.

Russel notes in her article, “Much is written and [believed to be] known about the General as a warrior. Less is known about him as a true student of his profession. I would submit that it is quite impossible to correctly understand the former without a proper interrogation of the latter.”

“Furthermore, there is his consideration of the views of others – as in the breadth of his reading or response to my comments – suggesting that he had not fallen prey to the hubris of the powerful, which is to believe they have all of the answers,” she adds. “Good leaders don’t only hear ‘yes’ from the people around them. Thus, the insight these words give to his thinking and interests is invaluable.”

Mattis’ letter reads as follows –

“…The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience), i.e. the hard way. By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men.


Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead…”

Read more at INFOWARS.






  1. The first adult book I remember reading , at age 13, was entitled “The Reason Why ” , A history of the British/Russian war in the Crimea. This war and this locale was the scene of the horrendous Charge of the Light Brigade, where the consequences of a towering incompetence were paid for so dearly by young men.This my first exposure to what Tuchmann has called the “March of Folly” has been broadened by a lifetime of reading such authors as Catton, Ryan, and that most singular of wartime leaders, T E Lawrence – Lawrence of Arabia – who’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” is a veritable textbook of irregular warfare. Lawrence, despite his hair-raising exploits in battle, felt the loss of even one of his men as a tragedy, and always sought a tactical advantage that would save lives. After my own experience at Bundy Ranch, Sugar Pine, and as one of the recently aquitted “Malhure 7”, I’ve seen that while many of the enthusiastic boots on the ground can recite the ballistics of any number of rifles, they are sadly lacking when it comes to the scholarship and grasp of that Big Wheel – the lamp that Patrick Henry used to light his path. Question : How many of you out there can recall the “Gaspee Affair” – 1772 ? A defining characteristic of those of us who stood fast through the Malhure affair was our grasp of the stakes involved, namely the malign, full circle nature of the tyranny metasthizing in our country today. We were walking in our founder’s shoes, knew it, and knew this cause as larger than any one of us.Would that many of the Blue-collar folks I’ve seen at “Hot Spots” could deepen their resolve and commitment through the kind of scholarship of General Mattis.

  2. The general is not only intelligent, but smart with his intellect. That’s why I like this man, he is wise. The importance in reading is also the ability to still be open minded and be imaginative in and out of the box consideration.. Some intellects; example – as we commonly see in higher education elites, are mired in their little world they created in their self elevated minds.

  3. LaVoy Finicum would have also been found not guilty had he not been shot down before having his day in court.

    1. I had many conversations with Lavoy during my stint as breakfast cook at Malhure. At the trial, I promised Jeanette that he would not be forgotten. The date of his asassination, January 26, is fast approaching, and it will be our opportunity for a day of memorial and remembrance. Hopefully, others across the country will gather as well.

  4. He was born in Pullman, WA and grew up here in the Tri-Cities, but that’s not what I love about him. He believes “Wars should only be fought to win for a purpose, not for Nation Building.” He’s an Engager; not a Franchiser.

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