This weekend, President-elect Donald Trump described retired Marine General James Mattis as a contender to be the next defense secretary and as “the real deal” following their hour-long meeting Saturday.
Mattis retired from the Marine Corps in 2013 after a 41-year career where he led Marines into Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War, the initial wave into Afghanistan in 2001, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He capped his career as the head of U.S. Central Command, where he was in charge of all American forces serving in the Middle East and oversaw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The 66-year-old Mattis earned his nicknames of “Mad Dog” and “the Warrior Monk” for his attention to military tactics and strategy. He is also known for his candor and blunt talk that has at times gotten him into hot water.