Gen. “Mad Dog” Mattis just gave what may be the most motivating speech of all time

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One of the Marine Corps’ most revered generals proved his mettle as a warrior poet recently, delivering a speech that summed up the Marine Corps ethos and experience–from bar fights to earth’s orbit. Gen. Jim Mattis, who retired last year from his post as head of U.S. Central Command after a 41-year career, gave this speech at the Marine Corps University Foundation’s 2014 Semper Fidelis Award Dinner on Feb. 22., where he accepted the award.

Photo: Cpl. Cassandra Flowers, Marine Corps

The speech is just too good to abbreviate, so here’s the whole thing. I’ve put my favorite lines in bold.

Long time since we served together in Brigade, cruised the West Pac

Or since I drank one of your Cokes on the March up to Baghdad.

General Gray, General Conway, General Pace, General Amos, General Paxton –

Marines whose very goodness put ambition out of context.

Sergeant Major Barrett – a Marine’s Marine. Colonel Harvey Barnum who for so many

years – your valor inspired us all to be better men.

Ladies – The wonderful ladies who exemplify grace & courage

Who represent our better angels and what we fight for.

Thank all of you for coming out tonight – A night that celebrates our Corps’ values, its legacy

and its mission.

A special note of appreciation for President of the Marine Corps University Foundation

Gen Tom Draude

Valiant combat leader who brought a Vietnam Vet’s reassurance to us as we filed into

our Desert Storm attack positions

And earned our everlasting respect & affection

We have Ambassadors present,

Whom Marines have stood beside in foreign lands

And members of Congress and staffers,

To whom we owe our survival when short –sighted bureaucratic efforts challenged our existence,

combined, they remind us our Corps carries more than our own hopes forward.

General Conway & General Amos spoke about this Foundation – I’ll add a few words.

Between Commandant’s Reading List and the Marine Corps University Foundation’s enriching

the education of our warrior leaders – I have never been bewildered for long in any fight with our

enemies – I was Armed with Insight. In the worst of surprises we found our training and

education had prepared us well.

I am a very average Marine- at this podium tonight because I repeatedly was at the right place, at

the right time to gain warfighting positions. I recall a Fleet Commander asking if I could bring

Marines from the Mediterranean together with a West Coast Marine Expeditionary Unit and

strike 350 Nautical Miles into Afghanistan. I could, thanks to the Marines who went before me

My immediate response was, “Yes”!

Thanks to our Corps’ legacy of audacity

Thanks to our Marines in 1950 who brought in KC 130 aircraft.

Thanks to our Amphibs, which our Navy-Marine-Corps Team funded.

Thanks to our Marines of the 1960 -1970s who put air refueling probes on Heavy Lift

Helicopters.

Thanks to our Marines who brought in Light Armored Vehicles in 1980.

Thanks to our Recruiters who brought in High –Quality Marines.

Thanks to our Commandant who extended boot camp and toughened it.

None of this started with me – most of the thinking was done in Quantico. And for me – so often

in the right place at the right time I have an enormous sense of gratitude for a Corps that gave me

such capability when destiny called on our Corps to fight.

Images flash through my mind– and I speak from my heart: of an Eighth & “I” parade in honor

of John Glenn who remarked that night:

He had been a Marine for 23 years…but not long enough.

That was from a man fought in WWII & Korea and was the first American to orbit the

earth,

His wingman in Korea, baseball legend Ted Williams, put it well when asked which was best

team he ever played on. Without hesitation he said, “The U.S. Marine Corps.”

On evenings like this most of us will remember the tragedy of losing comrades

Beautiful Marines whose rambunctious spirits gave us what F. Scott Fitzgerald called

“Riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart.”

And we remember them, everyone, who gave their lives so our experiment called America, could

live.

And for us who live today…

We do so with a sense that each day is a bonus and a blessing.

To the Veterans who brought up the current generation of Marines who imbued in us the spirit

“such as Regiments hand down,”

Thank you!

You raised us well for our grim tasks!

During our apprenticeship you coached us and honed our skills with a sense of humor in

a tough school.

And when the time came for us to stand and deliver, we never feared the enemy. We only feared

we might somehow disappoint you.

But with good NCO’s the outcome was never in doubt,

And the NCO’s were superb, Sergeant Major Barrett

And all Marines, regardless of rank,

Stood shoulder –to-shoulder

Stood co-equal in our commitment to mission

Co-equal, from boot private to General

Smiling to one another, even as we entered Fallujah

Knowing the enemy could not stand against the Corps you Veterans honed.

Because every Marine, if he was in a tough spot – whether a bar fight, or tonight in Helmand

River Valley,

our fellow Marines would get to us, or die trying.

So long as our Corps fields such Marines, America has nothing to fear from tyrants, be they

Fascists, Communists or Tyrants with Medieval Ideology. For we serve in a Corps with no

institutional confusion about our purpose:

To fight!

To fight well!

As we say out West where I grew up, “We ride for the brand”, and hold the line until our

country can again feel its unity.

From our first days at San Diego, Parris Island or Quantico, NCO’s bluntly explained to us that

the Corps would be:

Entirely satisfied if we gave 100%

And entirely dissatisfied if we gave 99%

And those NCOs taught us the great pleasure of doing what others thought impossible.

As General Amos summed it up so well in his Marine Birthday message: “The iron discipline &

combat excellence” of our Marines:

Marines who never let each other down, never let the Corps down, never let our country

down…

Those are the Marines who define our Corps.

A Corps whose old-fashioned values protect a progressive country.

Marines who can do the necessary “rough work”, but without becoming evil by doing so, despite

an enemy who has opened apocalyptically the aperture for who they target, to include even

women and children.

It’s all the more important today that we hold to our precious legacy of ferocious, ethical combat

performance

For in a world awash in change, Americans need to have confidence in the everlasting character

of our Marines

And to those Maniacs, the ones who thought that by hurting us on 9-11 that they could scare us,

we have proven that the descendants of Belleau Wood, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Chosin, Hue City &

more,

We don’t scare

And we proved it in Fallujah & Ramadi and in the Helmand,

Where foes who had never reasoned their way into their medieval views and could not be

reasoned out – found that American Marines could fight like the dickens,

And for the enemy it proved to be their longest and worst day against us.

Now from a distance I look back on what the Corps taught me:

To think like men of action,

And to act like men of thought!

To live life with intensity,

And a passion for excellence,

Without losing compassion for mistakes made,

by hi-spirited young patriots who looked past hot political rhetoric and joined the Corps – which

taught me to be a “coach” in General LeJeune’s style,

Summoning the best from our troops

The Father to Son, Teacher to Scholar bond bringing out the vicious harmony when

together, we closed on the enemy.

We were taught that the strongest motivation we all have,

Whether an FA-18 pilot or a Huey door gunner

Whether a “cannon cocker” firing a mission or logistics Marine hurrying supplies

forward,

The motivation that binds us is our respect for and commitment to a 19 year old Lance Corporal

infantryman upon whose young shoulders our experiment called America ultimately rests….

Now this award can never be mine –

And because we are members of the same tribe,

every one of you knows what I will say next….

For I am grateful & humbled to be singled out with you tonight:

An average Marine who always had good fortune to repeatedly be in the right place at the right

time

A “limited duty officer” as Commandant of the Marine Corps Jim Jones put it – who only knew

what to do with me when there was a fight.

But this award is truly not made to a man, to an individual,

it is made through me

For my work with those who shouldered Rucksacks,

Work that was carried forward by our Grunts,

And I will hold it in trust for those lads whose unfailing loyalty we celebrate tonight, who chose

to live life fully – more than they wanted longevity. Even when I made mistakes they saved the

day.

And I made plenty –

Like the time I got my Battalion surrounded in open dessert, with

My mortar Platoon spilling out and

Setting up 4 tubes pointing north, and 4 tubes pointing south and, they restored the

situation…

Yes, even in a jam of my own making –

The lads’ spirit, skill and good humor carried us through when danger loomed.

So on behalf of such lads

I hold this award in trust –

For the lads who prove Hemingway was right when he said, “There was no one better to have

beside you when the chips were down than a U.S. Marine.”

For to Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase… Rather it’s displayed by blood, sweat

and tears for the fallen. I was humbled that our Corps allowed me to serve over four decades,

Yet as Colonel John Glenn – a fighter pilot, astronaut and Senator put it –

It wasn’t long enough –

Semper Fidelis and May God hold our lads close.

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125 Comments

  1. AMOS should have learned this lesson rather than trying to CRUSH his marines that make mistakes. He could have been the bigger man – but he failed miserable, and will go down in history as the loser who sided with the Taliban over his own men. HOW many Snipers lost their jobs or quit in disgust over Amos illegal “justice” actions over what should have simply been a Mathis teaching moment. Without losing compassion for mistakes made,

    by hi-spirited young patriots who looked past hot political rhetoric and joined the Corps – which

    taught me to be a “coach” in General LeJeune’s style,

    Summoning the best from our troops

    The Father to Son, Teacher to Scholar bond bringing out the vicious harmony when

    together, we closed on the enemy.

  2. I served with Gen Mattis in the invasion of Iraq, I still remember him calling us his Fine Young Men. Gen Mattis is a leader that defines other leaders, creates, mentors, encourages, strengthens, and trains us to be the best warriors on the planet. This great leader in my professional and humble opinion needs to run for President of the United States. Thanks for all you did for the Corps Mad Dog we won’t forget you.

  3. Myles Culbertson on

    Amen, Howell. Our son-in-law was with 1st LAR in the invasion, and what we knew, as we constantly sought all the news we could find of the invasion, was that Mattis was in charge and there couldn’t be a better commander in war.

  4. I have know Jim sense high school , he has always been an inspirational person , and I know he would be the best choice for President , Thank you for all your service

  5. ralph rogers on

    I being a Navy man will not comment on him but will salute to the whole of the Marine Corps! Proud to have served with you.

  6. Would just like that thank the General for his years of honorable service. I don’t know many Marines personally, but I know greatness when I see it. It is comforting to know that the Marine Corp produces men and women of excellence.

    God Bless General Mathis and God Bless America! Semper Fi

  7. A marine grunt would make a better President than the POS we have now taking up valuable space in our White House and living lavishly all the while the average American is scrimping on less and less.

  8. My Best friend was a navy corpsman who served ‘BORDER OF n. VIETNAM’ throughout his military career….how does he think…SEMPER FI ! Whose reunions does he attend every year MARINES.!

  9. A very humble speech. A real American. An outstanding Marine. I, for one, apologize that you had to serve with the likes of what we’ve provided as your leader.

  10. Mark Sanchez on

    I have added more info on top of what a WWII Navy Seal and father through the Best elite fighting force

    US Marines

  11. General Mattis, on the many days like today, when I feel like there is so much turmoil all over the world, it brings me such peace and hope to know that we have such men as yourself and our Marines that will stand for America. I have met many of our Marines that I love and admire dearly, SgtMjr Michael Barrett, Dakota Meyer, SgtMjr Logan, so many that really care about our Marines. I hope one day that I may have the honor of shaking your hand, and if you are ever in San Diego, I know many of our Veteran Amputees that would love to have that honor also. Always Faithful, Joyce Orrell

  12. Donald Hoikkala on

    A True Outstanding Marine Officer one who I can say it was an honor to serve beside him. His Marines Loved him and would go any where with him..God Speed Sir..GySgt Ret 72-93 ..

  13. Please Sir,,, your Country needs you for one more round. Run for President!! What I would give to see a man who means what he says and gives with his heart to be our President. To bring honor and respect back to this nation that has some how lost its way.

  14. PR1(AW/SW) Ralph E Ellis on

    This should be revered and shared by all military branches! Behold, words of and outstanding leader pouring out motivation and recognition up and down the Marine Corps’ historical chain of command. This speech is absolutely outstanding and remarkable! This is why I read Marine Corps leadership books and manuals.

    Very Respectfully,
    Ralph Earl Ellis
    Thank you Master Sergeant Cary Henderson for the post. Another fine example of exactly what and who GEN. Mattis was speaking of in his speech!

  15. Paul Eric Foster on

    Thank You for your service and dedication to serve our great country and its constitution foreign and domestic sir I am of No service regretfully said but understand what brotherhood and loyalty respect of all natures . Thank You .

  16. You probably already know this, but his reference to “Eighth and I” is referring to the intersection of 8th and I Streets in Washington D.C., home of the Marine Corps Barracks that houses the Marine Corps Drill Team – the fancy Marines dressed to the 9s who perform all of the incredible rifle drill maneuvers. There is an unspoken conflicted sentiment about the “8th and I” Marines throughout the rest of the Corps. On one hand everyone respects the hell out of them because they are the “squared away of the squared away,” and they represent the Corps in fine fashion to a lot of the outside world. On the other hand, these guys will never see combat, they will never sweat in 140 degree heat in the desert, and they will never be up for 48 hours at a time performing fire and maneuver drills with howitzers. All in all, they are fellow Marines and there is a healthy adversarial spirit among all different units.

    On a gloomier note, it saddens me that there are Generals who feel this way and exude pride in themselves and the Marine Corps and who instill faith and confidence in their Marine units but who are undermined by a weak civilian commander-in-chief (intentionally not capitalized) who loathes everything our fighting forces stand for: toughness, sacrifice, and loyalty to our country. He’s more concerned with appeasing liberals and homosexual advocates in the safe confines of D.C. or San Francisco than he is with the welfare of fighting men in Afghanistan. He’s a disgrace to the office and the title. As I’ve mentioned before, if I was still in the service, there is a high likelihood I would face some sort of reprimand or non-judicial punishment because I don’t think I could hide my disdain for him.

  17. Glad to have fought under this mans leadership during the invasion of Iraq. Truly a great leader that myself, and my brothers next to me, would have ran through hell itself if he had asked us to.

  18. Why can’t we have this General as our Commandant? Surely we can recall him to run our Corps in this dire time? We can not continue to have the faithless wretch who CRUSHES those who sacrificed so much for this nation while we have great Leaders like Mattis! I would trust my grandkids to this man – not to the one currently calling himself CMC.

  19. William Fuzi on

    Everyone is leaving long comments, and praise of one, or admonishment of another. I am a Marine, and the only thing I can say that even measures up is, Semper Fi

  20. A true Marine Corps hero and American legend ! Leaders like General Mattis make us proud to be Americans and Marines !

  21. As an Ex-Sailor and someone that met him in ’91, all in General, this shit of puss-nutted, numb-dick, bitch-speaking of out best interest makes me sick. Call upon me, you are one that I would attack the gates of hell with

  22. Harold Resnick on

    I’m not American, but from the comments I’ve read here, General Mattis is one hell of a leader and a role model. He would make a great president, providing he is able to lead the country the way he sees fit. And General Amos, wow, there is some obvious hatred for that man, and from the passion behind the comments about both men, the love and respect for General Mattis is well deserved, as well as the hatred(for lack of a better word) towards General Amos. General Mattis probably knows better than to run for US President, as I’m sure the office would taint his stellar image. Who was the last president to garner respect from the majority of Americans?

  23. O how I wish and pray that the General and a few good men would storm our White House grab the imposter by the ears and drag his butt all the way to Kenya. And if they meet resistance at the WH burn it to the ground and start restoration of America. And then build a new House for the people who can hold there heads high once again, put God back from the places he was chased out of by the muslim lover. The fraud Opiuchus soetoroe.

  24. You are an honorable man & Marine & oh my God, what an amazing speech! You did your fellow Marines and your country proud! God bless

  25. My family is three generation Marines. My father fought in Korea, my brother in Vietnam, my nephew in Desert Storm. We are a proud Marine family! To this day my niece, an eighth grade history teacher, gives tribute to our family and the military every year at school to all our veterans past and present! Our family will forever stand proud of the United States Marine Corp and all who have served and will forever appreciate what all you have done to make it what it is today. Thank you for your many years of service and God bless you!

  26. I hope I live to see the day that I and millions of others can go into a voting booth and cast a vote for a man who is so undeniably qualified to lead this country. A more correct choice could not be possible.

  27. General Amos holds Marines accountable; he is re-instilling some of that “iron discipline” that General Mattis speaks to, that we as a Corps let go, because we had so many Marines in combat. Marines are different and we have higher, better standards.

  28. Retired Air Force officer applauding this leader and building on a great Marine Corps legacy — he left the battlefield better than he found it.

  29. John Heltsley on

    I had the pleasure of serving 20 years. I know now, it wasn’t long enough. I’ve learned a lot about being a Marine since I retired and wish I had done a lot more for my corps. The best thing I ever did was joining the best military branch in the world. I miss her so much, 23 years after retiring.I still have the Marine Corps in my heart.

  30. Thank you Gen. Mattis for your leadership that helped a young Marine Officer become a leader. Through Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, Iragi Freedom I was able to lead my Marines through hellish combat with caring and compassion for my Marines and determination to destroy the enemy as efficiently as possible. Thanks to those junior Marines who stood shoulder to shoulder with me to ensure America Will always be the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine
    C. Williams
    Ltcol. USMC, retired

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  33. This is the “Esprit De Corps” that turns a man into a Marine. Thank you Gen. Mattis for upholding the Corps highest standards and creating an environment that allowed a “knuckle headed” sailor earn the title “Doc” and serve with this nations finest men. Fair winds and following sea, Sir.

  34. As an Air Force general officer, I had the great privilege to serve under General Mattis’s. I wish I has served under his command as a lieutenant and throughout my career! This man of honor doesn’t waste your time (or anyone else’s) with B.S. He tells you what he thinks and means what he says. He works hard and works smart. He is strong enough to acknowledge his own mistakes, makes no excuses, and makes sure he doesn’t repeat them. His direction is clear and unambiguous yet gives you the leeway to be bold and creative. He is fiercely loyal to his subordinates and defends them against sniping from hostile forces, foreign and domestic.

    There are many here posting comments stating that he should run for President of the United States. I wish he would. If he does grace us with a call for continued service, not only will I vote for him, I will consider it an honor to work for him again.

    This Airman doesn’t consider Jim Mattis just a great Marine. He is a great American.

  35. Holly Gibson on

    What an amazing man, Marine! Thank you for your service. I would vote for this man to be president! Your job here is not yet done sir! Semper Fi, a family of Marines. Myself, husband and currently son.

  36. James Connor on

    Damn but we could use a President of General Mattis caliber.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to be proud of our President again? Would

    be an honor to vote for General Mattis.

  37. Thanks for the explanation of what 8th and I is. My husband served at the Barracks after he served a combat tour in Vietnam. It is not a career long assignment.

  38. Keith Brownmiller on

    This is the best example of true leadership that we have seen for many years. Proves that the whole is greater than the one.

    Please provide a link where we can all watch and learn from this “average” Marine.

    You Sir restore the Esprit de Corps that has dwindled here.

    You lead Sir, we will follow you through the Gates of He’ll and back.

    Semper Fi
    USMC Retired

  39. William J. Doyle Jr on

    We had a few Generals ourselves in Nam but the one I actually was up on line without me knowing it at the time was Lou Walt. Wow what a Marine!!!! Balls as big as basketballs!! I’m 69 years old and still love ” THE CORPS ” and miss it as if it we’re the day I put up my hand on August 11, 1965. SEMPER FI!!!!!!!!

  40. Although I was blessed with a great Mom and Dad some of the best lessons I’ve learned in life was learned by serving in the Marine Corps. Some of the best people I’ve ever met were Marines. As long as there is a marine Corps, America does not have to fear her enemies.

  41. harry wasserman on

    God bless the United States Military and the United States Marine Corp. Yes, I would happily vote for Gen. Mattis for President if only he would choose to run.

  42. Barry Kimbrough, USMCR ret on

    Once again, in retirement, the General defines “Semper Fidelis” to us all, which some were lucky to witness during his service to Our Corps, Your Corps, The United States Marine Corps!

    Thank you for your leadership General. You motivated me to be a better Marine and a better man, to remain humble and take care of those who do the heavy lifting.

    Semper Fidelis!

  43. Served with this man during the invasion of Iraq. A true leader and warrior. It was a pleasure serving with you General. Please run for President.

  44. Thank you General for you service. This is what the Marine Corps is all about. Proud to have served. Ooh Rah! Semper Fi!

    Leadership by example!

  45. Sir,
    As an average American, I say thank you for the privelge of the liberty the US Marunes privide me. I read your speech and was humbled as a citizen that we Americans have no idea how great patrioys we habe in out Armed Forces, thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom ofy heart.
    Craig Lusby
    BelAir, MD

  46. Phillip Carper on

    This country and my Corps needs more men amd woman who do not only say what they mean, but live it. SEMPER FI SIR.

  47. I’m humbled to have served under you during the invasion into Iraq. You made decisions that only a man of your intelligence and seasoned war fighter could make knowing the outcome. I’m glad to be forded the opportunity to be married, raising two beautiful daughters and alive. I take every day as a blessing and proudly celebrate two birthdays a year. You sir are a patriot and a fucking war machine.
    Semper Fidelis
    Always beside you, never below you
    Juice/0321

  48. Billye Robinson on

    General,
    Awesome words! Thank you for your service!
    Godspeed & God bless you & keep you!
    You may be retired from the Marines…but we need Patriots like you to lead us in our fight against this corrupt administration!

  49. I did 4 yrs and got out hor and now I am fighting the Life battle over toxic water at Camp Lejeune N.C. BUT I just got deied my claim for nerve damage. I was station there for 21/2 yrs and there was over 70 diff toxic chemical in the water we were drinking and bathing in and some of the damage took 35to40yrs to show up it did in my case but the C&P DR. who I saw did not examine me at all he did not put me on the examining table he did not touch me not one time to see if I had any feeling in my legs or if I had any feeling in my feet or where my numbs in my hands started and stoped. this DR. did not care if I lived or died all he did was sit at his desk and click his pin and type. 95% of his report is a lie and he was falsify a medical COMP&PEN review. Basically my C&P Dr on Jan 25,2014 FALSIFY GOVERNMENT MEDICAL DOCUMENTS and he did not examine me.

  50. On a larger note I Love my Corps and would not have traded my 4years for any thing in the world. MY oldest son is a jarhead he did 4 years honorably as well. We both belive in Semper Fidelis are by far the most heart felt spoken words that a MARINE will say in the hardest times in his or her life and the darkest times but we all keep the faith always. We stand back to back. Semper-FI

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  52. Jeffery Marsh on

    General Matt, like General Pace, left his stars at the wall. That is what truely makes our Marine Corps great.

  53. Outstanding demonstration of EGO power.
    Paulo Costa
    Clinical Psychologyst
    Psychotherapist
    Psychoanalysis
    International Certified Coach (ICC)

  54. Semper Fi General! May you fully enjoy retirement from the Corps. The time to do the things you couldn’t before because of the calling to serve our country, and your family who certainly now deserve your presence. Always remember that your true leadership will still teach those Marines serving today, as a legacy of brilliance will remain strong as time passes. As a retired Marine myself, the days of serving with you past are etched permanently in my mind as the best days of my active time in our beloved Corps. Again, Semper Fi general!

  55. Ian Creighton on

    What a great leader. He never fails to inspire. As a now retired Canadian infantry officer, I am glad I had the opportunity to serve briefly with Gen Mattis. I do not recall, in my 31 years of service, that I met a better leader.

  56. Outstanding General Mad Dog. What an inspiring speech, having said this, what else would you expect from such a fine Marine, humble and with great pride in our Corps. As for President, this man has too much character, he is ramrod straight, as all Marines are, truthful, and has great honor, as those who have gone before him. Do we need him? Absolutely! God Bless you my fellow Marine. I served from 10/63 – 10/67 which included 13 months in Nam. I am still a Marine and will be until my death, even then I will live on as long as there is a Corps. Semper Fi General

  57. MSGT Rod Mayberry Retired on

    What an inspiring speech. I have been retired for over 15 years and would return today to serve our beloved Corps with men such as yourself. Gen Mattis, Thank you for once again bringing honor to our Corps.

    Often Tested, Semper Fi.

  58. Obama put Amos in as CMC because the President knew Amos would fold on gays in the military and women in the infantry. And, Amos did. CMC is prostituting the Marine Corps for aircraft platforms and forgetting we are an infantry assault force. Suspect it will be a long, long time before we (Corps) make the mistake of putting a pilot as CMC again. As they say about Amos the “carpet can’t be red enough.” What a disgrace as a leader.

  59. When we all get older and the torch has got to be passed. Tears come to my eyes . at the sight of those who to it has been passed. They say the kids today are not as tough as the the kids of yesterday. But having seen the Marines of the last 12 years. I know it is a lie. So carry on and Semper fi. The corps shall live long after i have died

  60. Bruce Bauman on

    The only integrity left in this country resides in the military. During 5 years of active service in the Marine Corps., it became apparent that the Corps. was built on a firm appreciation for honesty and reality. Compare this with the outright lies being promulgated on a daily basis in our capital. Finally, devotion to your fellow Marines was what carried you through the difficult times.

  61. John Moldovan on

    John Anthony’s comments in the above comments are so true….I appreciate reading from “Marines” as in General Mattis Speech. Thank God for the likes of him and praying that we can have more like him to counter the Socialist who calaims to be “commander in chief” (not capitalized on purpose) and keep us free from intrusion by our enemys. I am a Viet Nam vet and former Marine “62-67″

  62. Chaplain Mark Tanis on

    As a Navy Chaplain serving Marines in Iraq in ’03 under General Mattis’ leadership I always felt “safe” no matter the circumstance. And now his then choice of leadership for 5th Marines continues to excel and inspire. I am honored to have been a “lad” in your care. Semper Fi & Amen.

  63. Like the 1960’s song by The Birds, “Turn, Turn, Turn”, based on a passage in Ecclesiastes, “there is a time for every thing under heaven”. There will be time for those who must wage war; there will also be a time for those who must present our case before the public and before our Congress. Sometimes these people are the same; sometimes they cannot be the same for amultitude of reasons. General Amos and General Mattis, and fellow Marines served well. May they all continue to march. Semper fi!

  64. General Mattis:

    Should be our CMC!

    Needs to be our next CinC!

    I celebrate two birthdays every year: The one on my birth certificate (minor importance); 10 November (MAJOR importance)!

  65. I wrote his name in on my ballot for president in the last election. I did it because I didn’t want to vote for the less crappy candidate. I did it because I wanted to vote for a real leader. And so I did in fact cast my vote for a leader. I truly wish this great man would run for president. It’s long since been time for our great nation to have a real leader. A leader that will be respected by allies & enemies alike.

  66. General Matthis could not be CMC because he IS a warrior.

    CMC (and all heads of branches) are political appointments/positions.

    OK, so General Amos wants to “crush” Marines. Perhaps that was a bit strong, but, as Marines WE will held accountable for disrespectful and inappropriate actions. If this rubs you wrong, and you quit, remember losers quit, Marines overcome adversity!

    CMC does not need to be an 03xx. Great Marine officers lead great Marines in all MOS fields. To be a great CMC one merely needs to look to Parris Island, San Diego or Quantico and all points beyond for inspiration, NOT inside the Beltway!

  67. Joel Richmond on

    May God Bless the United States Marines. As humble as he is, Gen. Mattis’ example and spirit became the guiding light for so many young Marines be they stateside or on duty at an FOB in Helmand Province. His ability to eloquently put into words the crede as well as describe the heart and soul of the Marine Warrior has served so many in the heat of battle. Gen. Mattis is living proof that “Always faithful” has been and always will be the backbone of the men and women who defend this precious nation. Semper FI

  68. Great stuff!

    Folks… learn form what he says. He is the best leader I have ever met. I worked at IMEF HQ, Campen, CA 2005 – 2006. He praised in public and admonished in private (most times). Yet writers are saying things about the CMC and POTUS that Gen Mattis would never say publicly. Let’s learn something from this great man folks..

    USMC CWO3 Ret.

    Semper Fidelis

  69. John MIchaud on

    I served in Viet Nam in the 1st Mar Div from 1967-1969.General Mad Dog Mattis has me totally humbled and have never been prouder of who and what we are. He could turn this country around if he were elected Commander in Chief. Semper FI

  70. Col Darryl Donegan on

    General Thanks for sending this along This is a classic that someday will be read at every B Day ball

  71. Let the PR’s & DNC’s try to destroy General Mathis reputation.

    Yes I will, God willing, support and vote for General Jim Mattis.

    Look at what PRC/DNC did to beat the last two Republican candidates! It is so easy to destroy reputations but they will not tarnish his!!!! We are umited. PLEASE SUPPORT HIM!!!!!

    When elected he will reduce the bureaucracy, while getting the

    current “golden parachute/stock option” wizards back to their real duties and roll top desks or appropriate cells. WE meed leadership for real change and return to prosperity.

  72. I would have liked to have seen Gen. Mattis (NOT Mathis) as CMC. However, I feel that he ended up resigning when he did once he realised he was not going to be nominated for the post. (Perhaps to Politically Incorrect?) Only the President knows…

  73. Here’s to the Marine who summed up Gen Mattis speech best with only two words…SEMPER FI! To the Gentleman who commented on 8th & I Marines, check your facts. If it was that way in the past the Corps has since rectified the situation. The Marine wife who commented on her husband’s service at 8th & I, she set the record straight. It’s not a lifelong career and 8th & I Marines do in fact serve in the Fleet Marine Forces and in combat. Most Marines that are selected for the duty only serve one tour at the barracks. I personally served alongside an 8th and I Marine in in the 130 deg heat of Iraq.

  74. Simply an outstanding and motivating speech. I did 20 and like the General and John Glenn said, it’s not long enough. Unfortunatly, you gain much appreciation of the Corps and its leaders after you leave.

    I would like to respond to John Anthony’s comments about 8th & I Marines. Those young hard chargers do their tours and I am quite sure that many ended up in combat units. And their leaders come from across the Corps. Suffice it that 8th & I is just a step in a career. I served my last tour at 8th & I and consider it the pinnacle of my career . . . . to serve at the “Oldest Post in the Corps” was humbling and an honor. And it was a direct connection to the Marines that served before me.

    Semper fi,

    Pete Hoeft, Gunny retired.

  75. Gen. Jim Mattis for President! With a man like Mattis in the White House we will all have the America I knew as a child back- knowing the high respect he is given from our Marines is enough for me!! America will prouder that ever with such a true leader! AND our Military will be respected as they should!

    Semper Fidelis!

  76. Vernon Taylor on

    A fantastic and totally motivating speech by Gen. Mattis. God bless him and the President of the United States of America…Semper Fidelis!

  77. Thanks for your service. Enjoy the fat pension and benefits while the private sector workers continue to work our asses of living paycheck to paycheck to support the insane costs of invading other countries. Great man and leader but for someone who has never worked in the private sector or lived paycheck to paycheck is not particularly qualified to be president of this country. I’m not sure what is so difficult about joining the marine corps straight out of college and staying in for an entire career. The marine corps holds your hand the whole way and promotions happen over time and not particularly based on performance or results. Its more about being in the right place at the right time. And what’s wrong with Obama, a man who wants to put a little compassion back into this country and stop bullying every other country around with the fight and destroy attitude. But I guess if we want to be a country with “balls” and continue expanding our empire while people in poverty and people who are suffering are ignored and forgotten about, sure Mattis would make a great candidate. I was a marine and every marine I ever met was interested in one thing: pay and benefits and job security and life insurance and a long list of other benefits that the taxpayers of this country who are paying for the invasion efforts don’t get. I was in for 15 years and I probably did about 6 months of real work in the form of fighting and if I would have done another 5 I would get paid about $3500 per month plus free health, dental, life ins. for the next 40 years of my life! I know we need a defense program but does it have to be so big and cost so much? How do you justify 6 months to a year of real value providing work in exchange for 40-60 years of great pay and benefits and then compare that to an average worker in the us (not a gov worker of course, most of those jobs are simply a hidden form of welfare) who provides 30 – 45 years of value providing work and ends up with nothing unless they saved money for themselves. On sorry I may sound like an a hole here but it just isn’t hard at all to serve out a military career its like being in school with teachers holding your hand the whole way and security all around you. The fighting part is actually fun anyways it beats standing around pretending to do stuff for the other 95% of the career…I guess I’ve just become a hater after seeing many citizens suffering and losing there houses while everyone in federal gov is well taken care of…it’s effin bull

  78. I went To P I. Boot camp In 1951, Sent to Korea in 1952 ,I am supporter of Gen. Chesty Puller, And Gen James Mattis

    Two of the greatest field Commanders . I would love to Vote for Gen James Mattis for President. God Bless you Sir !!!

  79. Not Important on

    Jason, It’s pretty clear by your post that you were not really a Marine. You don’t have to pretend to have been a Marine to disagree or make a post. It actually discredits your argument significantly. Are we expected to believe that you just “decided” to move on to the civilian sector after 15+ years in the Corps? It was SO easy, yet you couldn’t bring yourself to serve five more years, but now you are living paycheck to paycheck? And you served fifteen years in the Corps and yet make the statement that “promotions happen over time and not particularly based on performance or results.” You must be quite gifted, or perhaps you’ve forgotten about FITNESS REPORTS, Proficiency/Conduct markings, Physical Fitness Tests, Rifle Ranges, Composite Scores, etc, etc. Promotions in the Marine Corps are ALL ABOUT performance and results. Two other dead give-aways that you were not a Marine – you show the clear disdain for the “benefits” that many civilians have of our military, but are reluctant to admit – and you did not capitalize “Marine Corps” or “Marine.”

    Get some help dude – seriously. Just because you chose the private sector doesn’t mean guys/gals that are risking life and limb don’t deserve the benefits they have. Don’t blame them because the President decided to expand the military. They are not making the foreign policy decisions; they are just the ones bleeding/dying for them.

    And if you think that Generals aren’t fit to be President because they’ve never lived “paycheck to paycheck,” then you might want to look at the financial statements of our last ten or twelve Presidents; not exactly a history of “paycheck to paycheck” kind of guys.

  80. @Jason: You certainly have an ax to grind, but I’m not sure against whom. As others have pointed out, there is absolutely NO way that you are a Marine because you demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the Corps, Marines, or what motivates them. I was fortunate enough to have served in the Marine Corps for four years and can plainly say that you sleep safely at night because these rough men are ready to do violence on your behalf. Most Marines who served in the last decade have looked death in the face, and a number of them have not returned from doing a job that most civilians (and even most of the world’s militaries) are incapable of performing. I dare you to personally tell the grieving widows and parents that the ultimate sacrifice their loved ones made are worthless, and the retainer pay earned by those who survived 20 years — many with debilitating injuries — is excessive. Go ahead and tell them that the Marines aren’t worth the taxpayers’ support. Come tell me that and after I explain the facts to you the first time, I will beat you down again. America is safe not because that fraud in the White House allowed you to stay on your parents’ insurance until you are 26, but because our enemies will incur the wrath of the US Marine Corps for any hostilities they wage against us. General Mattis is a great Marine and great American, and earned every penny that will ever be paid to him, unlike the jetsetting, globetrotting, glimmerati who spend less time at the mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue than they do taking $100 Million Dollar vacations every other week at taxpayer expense.

  81. Tom Kalbacher on

    As the son of a Marine Colonel I joined the Navy in 69 thinking I had already served in the Corps for my first 17 years of life but now that I have seen men like General Mattis I wish I had chosen differently. God Bless the USMC

  82. Jason your ignorance of the MC and the military way of life truly astounds me. As others said you were not a Marine. I won’t address the the points in your comment they already have. You were dead wrong on them anyway. You def weren’t in the MC if you never lived paycheck to paycheck. There is not a MC or military family out there that at one point in their career hasn’t lived paycheck to paycheck. You said we make so much more than the private sector? Do your research. A pay scale was just put out actually. A marine in for 20yrs is making almost 15/20 k less than the average American at his job for 20 yrs? Yet they’re not complaining? The MC holds your hand and walks you thru? My hubby has worked his a$$ of to get where he’s at. N you only worked 6 months out of 15 yrs? You weren’t a Marine. My hubby has missed 2 of 3 of our children being born , countless birthdays and anniversaries ,our kids HS graduations and I could go on. Yet Marines don’t work. Ok. Last but not least.you said you could do e 5 more years to retire at 20 and made a 3500.00 a month pension? Again sir YOU were NOT a Marine. My husband has been in over 20yrs and will retire at 30yrs as an E9. After 30 yrs and at the highest enlisted rank he will barely be getting 3500.00 in retirement. So before you start bashing AND pretending you might want to get your facts straight. You just made yourself look like a completely ignorant uneducated jackass.

  83. As a retired sailor with the privilege of working with Marines for 20 years; I have one question:

    WHERE IS THE NAVY LEADERSHIP OF THIS CALIBER?!

    Not sense Bull Halsey, Raymond Spruance, and others of those days, have we had a singular, inspirational, man of action leader. ADM Nimitz is too long gone. Outstanding General! I salute my Marine Corps brothers and sisters – and wish I had half the leadership the General exhibits in his little finger. Fair winds and following seas General. God bless you and the Marine Corps. I have had no truer friends.

  84. Outstanding presentation and Leader! Over many years, I’ve seen nothing but excellence from Gen Mattis! My friends in the Corps speak high praise. Not sure I’d want to ‘offer’ up Gen Mattis to he political process, he’s TOO decent. But would be good to have a leader.

    RE: Jason – opinions. From all walks of life… I would say that “government” workers are over compensated but NOT Marines. And not many of any of the Military… the ‘negatives’ of such service are too many to list (disrupted family life, life out of a bag, low pay and reduced rewards (lately especially), potential personal harm, rotations, on and on… many more than this civilian knows) but stateside bureaucrats are exactly as he suggests – pencil pushers and paper shredders are very much over compensated. Their votes are bought, the Marines (and others) are not even counted!

    The type of Man that is Mattis is (as mentioned) like Halsey, Spruance, Patton, Puller, Terry Allen, Maj. Zembiec, and those past, current and to come that understand the foundations of warrior’s souls and HOW TO lead ‘em… motivate, direct and love. No better Friend, No Worse Enemy. God Bless the USMC!

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