According to reports, recently retired Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” Mattis is the frontrunner for the position of Secretary of Defense in President Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet.
General Mattis brings with him a wealth of experience having served as commander of United States Central Command from August of 2010 to March of 2013, replacing General David Petraeus.
By all accounts, Mattis is beloved by the men who served under him, and earned the nickname “Warrior Monk” for a ferocious yet intellectual approach to combat.
In the spirit of General George S. Patton, Mattis’s unique combination of martial prowess and intellectual curiosity make him utterly quotable, and the General has provided dozens of gems during his long career in the Marine Corps.
Here are 10 of our favorites:
1. “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f— with me, I’ll kill you all.” (Speaking to tribal leaders in Iraq)
2. “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
3. “If in order to kill the enemy you have to kill an innocent, don’t take the shot. Don’t create more enemies than you take out by some immoral act.”
4. “The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some a**holes in the world that just need to be shot.”
5. “Marines don’t know how to spell the word defeat.”
6. “You are part of the world’s most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.”
7. “Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit…Demonstrate to the world there is no better friend, no worse enemy than a U.S. Marine.”
8. “The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.”
9. “There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It’s really great.”
10. “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.”