Mattis, James, 1950–, American general and secretary of defense (2017–18), b. Pullman, Wash., grad. Central Washington Univ. (1971). Commissioned as a second lieutenant (1972) in the Marines after completing ROTC training, he served as a lieutenant colonel in the Persian Gulf, as a colonel and a brigadier general in Afghanistan, and as a major general in Iraq. A four-star general from 2007, he succeeded General Petraeus as head of the U.S. Central Command in 2010. After retiring from the military (2013), he worked in the private sector and was a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. He became secretary of defense under President Trump in 2017, but policy differences with the president led him to resign in 2018 and implicitly criticize Trump's treatment of America's allies and adversaries.
See his Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead (2019, with B. West); memoir by G. M. Snodgrass, a Pentagon aide (2019).
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