Secretary of Defense

Five freshmen Congressmen (all with military backgrounds): Why we support Mattis for Defense Secretary

In this Dec. 6, 2016, photo, President-elect Donald Trump introduces retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as his nominee for Secretary of Defense while speaking to supporters during a rally in Fayetteville, N.C.

In this Dec. 6, 2016, photo, President-elect Donald Trump introduces retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as his nominee for Secretary of Defense while speaking to supporters during a rally in Fayetteville, N.C.  ((AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Over the past eight years we have seen America’s standing in the world deteriorate. The Obama administration has refused to name our enemies and backed away from our allies all while threats across the globe multiply. There is no one better equipped to understand the dangers we face, how to repair our world image, and set us on a path to rebuild our military than President-elect Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis.

General Mattis is respected by Republicans and Democrats alike for his leadership and integrity. In fact, it was a Democratic lawmaker from Massachusetts who recently called him a “truly moral leader,” and noted that on the eve of the Iraq invasion he reminded troops to “engage our brains before our weapons, and treat all noncombatants with decency, chivalry, and compassion.”

After serving 44 years in the United States Marine Corps and coming up through the ranks, General Mattis knows better than anyone the cost of sending our troops into battle. If you don’t believe it, look no further than the heartfelt, hand-written notes he sent to the parents of every soldier, sailor, and Marine who was killed under his command.

This is a leader America can trust to ask the tough questions and to make America’s presence felt by both friends and foes.

General Mattis is the true ‘warrior monk,” a student of history with a personal library of some 7,000 volumes.

In partnership with General David Petraeus, General Mattis wrote the book on U.S. counterinsurgency tactics. His formidable talents will bring something to the Pentagon that has been woefully lacking during the last eight years: strategic vision.

General Mattis also understands that the military alone cannot keep our nation safe. His longstanding history of championing investments in development and diplomacy earned him the endorsement of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC). The organization noted that General Mattis values the State Department and USAID as “‘essential’ to promoting America’s interests abroad along with ‘preventing conflict and countering extremism.’”

As the world becomes increasingly unstable, the American people will be fortunate to have Jim Mattis leading the Defense Department. He has the vision and he has the strength. We urge our colleagues to send General Mattis to the Pentagon.

Republican Brian Mast represents Florida's 19th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Republican Mike Gallagher represents Wisconsin's Eighth District in the U.S. House of Representatives; Republican Jim Banks represents Indiana's Third District in the U.S. House of Representatives and Republican Don Bacon represents Nebraska's Second District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Republican Jack Bergman represents Michigan's 1st District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a retired United States Marine Corps lieutenant general.