In a historic decision, United States Senate confirmed retired Marine General James Mattis as the first member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet by approving him as the new secretary of defense. The announcement was made a couple of hours after Trump was sworn in as the commander-in-chief.
Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand was the only member who didn’t vote as Mattis was elected with an impressive voting of 98-1. He will have an important role to play in next five years and here are few things you should know about him:
1. He is one of the best of his generation
Mattis retired from the Marine Corps in 2013 as the four-star chief of U.S. Central Command. During his career, he led troops in countries like Iran and Afghanistan and was a highly influential figure. When he was nominated for the job of defense secretary by Donald Trump, he said that he didn’t expect it at all.
2. He is also known as ‘Mad Dog’
Mattis earned the name of Mad Dog from his fellow marines after the second battle of Fallujah in the Iraq War as sign of respect. Donald Trump has also referred to Mattis with this name on multiple occasions.
General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, who is being considered for Secretary of Defense, was very impressive yesterday. A true General’s General!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2016
3. He is known for his aggressive approach
James Mattis had a glorious career for US Marines spanning over 40 years where he earned a name for himself because of his aggressive approach, particularly on Iran. This actually forced the Obama Administration cut his Central Command tour short in 2013. However, Mattis later supported Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
4. He was not involved in the Presidential campaign
Mattis’ nomination came as a surprise for many people as he was not involved in the Presidential campaign. Bill Kristol, Trump’s opponent, however, praised him as an excellent third-party option.
5. He finds shooting people ‘fun’
For all those who believe is the peace should be the way to handle matters, Mattis may not agree with you. During a panel discussion in 2005 at San Diego, he said, “It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.” This earned him the nickname of ‘The Warrior Monk’.