Think like men of ACTION Act like men of THOUGHT Live life with INTENSITY and a passion for EXCELLENCE Knowing the measure of this man makes one wonder how great a Secretary of Defense he will be……… 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 am 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 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” ~The 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 Meme






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