Sec. Mattis on what keeps him awake at night

SecDef Mattis (USMC-Ret) on what keeps him awake at night:

We need more of this attitude in Holy Church, especially from our officers, the clergy.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. graytown says:

    Regardless of where one stands on Trump-
    He picked an excellent Defence Secretary.

  2. KateD says:

    General Mattis keeps Satan himself awake at night!

  3. acardnal says:

    Gen Mattis gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. May God be with him.

  4. JustaSinner says:

    Spot on General! Semper Fi, ohh-rah!

  5. Semper Gumby says:

    Can’t say it any better than acardnal: a “warm and fuzzy.”

    Another warm and fuzzy: Pope Benedict XVII Sarah keeps the staff of the Fishwrap and “c”atholic universities awake at night.

  6. ghp95134 says:

    The boogie man checks under his bed to see if General Mattis is there.

  7. The Mad Sicilian Geek says:

    What a total bad-ass!!!

  8. PostCatholic says:

    His boss keeps me up at night.

  9. hwriggles4 says:

    One thing I like about General Mattis is he is single. Today (2017) there are times where a well adjusted straight man who is single and over 35 is seen as “weird, what’s wrong with you, etc.” (I know this because i am a single straight man in his later 40s).

    General Mattis is seen as a good role model. His underlings in the military often nicknamed him “warrior monk”.

  10. ghp95134 says:

    @hwriggles4: General Mattis is seen as a good role model. His underlings in the military often nicknamed him “warrior monk”.

    I give you….

    St. Mattis of Quantico
    Patron Saint of Chaos

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    ghp95134: Excellent. You, sir, are a steely-eyed Catholic man.

    hwriggles4: Gen. Al Gray, Commandant back in the 1980s, like Gen. Mattis, was “married to the Marine Corps.” Gen. Gray eventually married in his fifties. Just works out that way sometimes. Though I think Gen. Mattis was engaged back in his lieutenant/captain days and his fiancee broke it off just before the wedding.

    There’s a saying: “If the Marine Corps wanted you to have a wife they would’ve issued you one.”

  12. Semper Gumby says:

    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.”

    *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.

    Semper Gumby here: That was from the US Naval Institute’s website. A general standing duty armed with a sword is way too cool. He has a library of 7000 books. During the “March Up” (from the Greek Anabasis and Xenophon) the Tigris-Euphrates Valley from Kuwait north to Baghdad in 2003 he had a copy of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations with him. I don’t know if it was in Latin.

    Gen. Mattis’ letter to every Marine in the 1st Marine Division on the eve of battle in 2003 is a Marine Corps classic. Here’s an excerpt:

    “Engage your brain before you engage your weapon. Share your courage with each other as we enter the uncertain terrain north of the Line of Departure. Keep faith in your comrades on your left and right and Marine Air overhead. Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit.”

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award


    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  13. cengime says:

    Semper Gumby: It has been claimed in the pages of the Washington Post that Gen. Mattis travelled with a copy of Marcus Aurelius in Latin, and if true it is remarkable, since Marcus wrote the Meditations in Greek.

  14. Semper Gumby says:

    cengime: Thanks, Greek not Latin.

  15. acardnal says:

    SemperGumby: Thanks for sharing that anecdote on Gen Mattis on Christmas Day. Hadn’t heard that one before.

  16. Semper Gumby says:

    You’re welcome acardnal. Thank you Fr. Z (on behalf of Gen. Mattis).

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