James Mattis

James Norman Mattis is a retired USMC General and served as the 26th Secretary of Defense. His personal biography, “Call Sign Chaos”, serves as an instructive manual for leadership and what it means to “keep the faith” and live a life of selfless service to your nation.


“You cannot allow any of your people to avoid the brutal facts. If they start living in a dream world, it’s going to be bad.”

Gen. James Mattis

The truth, no matter how difficult to dispense, must be acknowledged. In other words, you cannot and should not “protect” your people from the truth, as doing so has consequences.


“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”

Gen. James Mattis

Spoken like a true gentlemen warrior. The idea here is to always plan for multiple courses of action. If your initial plan doesn’t work, you need to have a backup plan ready to implement. In particular, you should plan for what is most likely to happen, and what is the most dangerous thing that could happen. It could also be said that you should always be prepared to defend your position.


“You’ve been told that you’re broken, that you’re damaged goods and should be labeled victims. I don’t buy it. The truth, instead, is that you are the only folks with the skills, determination, and values to ensure American dominance in this chaotic world.”

Gen. James Mattis

The standard homage is that “freedom isn’t free.” But even just strength, itself, has a cost. You will only be a victim if you allow yourself to be. You can choose to apply your experience; good or bad, violent or passive, guilty or innocent; toward the betterment of all mankind. Within all of our individual experiences, we’re the only ones that can do that, so don’t waste your experience as a fruitless victim of circumstances.