Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cheek To Cheek With "Mad Dog"

Copy of Cheek to Cheek With Mattis

Here I am with General James "Mad Dog" Mattis aka "Warrior Monk" Mattis. Thanks Denny (my fellow museum Photo Dog") for taking this picture. My first comment on my appearance - - what the heck happened to my make-up? Why does it seem like I never have any on? My second comment - - I flippin' hate the humidity of Virginia and what it does to my hair - - and finally - - Could I have stood a little straighter and rolled my shoulders back? Good grief I look like a slouch! Maybe I was slouching because I could have sworn I was taller than him.

Now, I just have to say, General Mattis is a Marines Marine. He doesn't throw any punches and the impression I've gotten from people is that he calls it as he sees it. Granted, that can lead to some controversial - out - of - context quotes. For instance this one:

"Actually it's quite fun to fight them, you know. It's a hell of a hoot," Mattis said, prompting laughter from some military members in the audience. "It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up there with you. I like brawling.

"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis said. "You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

He is also famous for a slogan "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy" Which was lifted from Roman Dictator and General Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (78BC).

The evening General Mattis spoke, he also quoted from several other historic figures, of course, since I didn't have my notebook, I couldn't write stuff down (lesson learned on my part). Why do I mention this? The historical study of generals, dictators, political thinkers, and military operations is something I truly admire about Marines in general and Marine Corps Officers in particular. While I know this study goes on in other military branches, I've witnessed an embracing of history among the Marine Corps that I've not seen in other services. Why do I think the study of history important? Somewhere I remember learning that if we don't know our history, we are cursed to repeat it. I think that is true.

Now some of you may also be wondering about General Mattis' other nickname "Monk Warrior". General Mattis is a bachelor. I have also met other Marines (i.e. Major A, most recently) who embrace this lifestyle while on active duty as they feel they are unencumbered and have less to worry about when they are not married, thus, they can take greater risks, and more challenging assignments.

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