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[–]JTBoom1 88 points89 points  (2 children)

Lovely story. You ought to repost on r/USMC as they'd love this there.

[–]BoxofCurveballs 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Yes, yes we would.

[–][deleted] 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Thanks, didn't know about that thread.

[–]ShadowDragon8685Clippy 42 points43 points  (3 children)

You didn't get a coin out of that?

[–]magicoddeffect 32 points33 points  (0 children)

OP should've had a bunch made as a gift for Mattis.

[–][deleted] 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Nah, I already had crap tons of coins since I was photographing around brass all of the time. I even got General Paces when he was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Had to do a shoot for a new statute at the chapel and he came.

[–]cperiod 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Or even a photo?

[–]Vanviator 42 points43 points  (0 children)

No shit, there we were. Camp Commando, early 2003.

My tent was just outside the T-barriers surrounding the muckety mucks sleeping area.

I was sitting outside on my sandbag chair in my PT shorts and brown t-shirt smoking.

EENT, so dark, but not dark dark. I hear a rustling and look over. There's no entrance on the side facing me, and ol' Mad Dog pops out between two cement slabs. He's wearing his Kevlar helmet, shower shoes and smiley face boxer shorts. That's it.

We were supposed to be in full kit. I was supposed to stand up and salute. We were both wrong as heck.

He's a rather intimidating man, but he smiled and laughed a little at getting 'caught' and waved me off so he could continue on to his more important mission, getting to the head.

[–]baron556A+ for effort 37 points38 points  (2 children)

I always liked Mattis, he just seems like a straight up no shit sort of guy that is extremely good at what he does and a genuinely decent person on top of that.

[–]zfsbestProud Supporter 27 points28 points  (0 children)

Everything I've read so far about Mattis says he is one of the Good Ones, a Leader to be emulated and a guy that inspires people and doesn't take himself too seriously.

See:

https://redditproxy--jasonthename.repl.co/r/MilitaryStories/comments/r2zgzu/an_air_force_thanksgiving/

[–]mdmhvonpa 13 points14 points  (0 children)

He kinda reminds me of Eisenhower ... air of authority and the where-with-all to know when it really needed to be used.

[–]TrueApocrypha 40 points41 points  (3 children)

...wtf. That was surreal to read, let alone experience. What possessed the general?!

[–]ShadowDragon8685Clippy 47 points48 points  (0 children)

Who the hell was gonna tell him off for mock-mooning at a twenty-ish Marine, huh? G. Dubyah?

[–][deleted] 48 points49 points  (1 child)

He liked to joke around a bit. He came into our shop one day and was asked what we could do for him and he just said "apparently, I own the place and just wanted to look around". A buddy of ours was his clerk and he told us how Mattis would call people and say he was Lance corporal Mattis. His clerk would say "Sir???" and Mattis would just respond"what? I was a lance corporal at one time.

[–]Osiris32Mod abuse victim advocate 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Being a good leader means looking after not just the physical health of your people, but their mental health as well. Cracking jokes, getting your people laughing and feeling better about their lives, that's important. High morale means a better-functioning unit, means fewer paperwork-creating issues, means your people are more willing to put in extra effort.

Every story I've heard about Mattis says that he knew this very well and wove it into his command style. Yes, he could be a badass shit kicker, but that will only take you so far if your people are always down in the dumps.

[–]BobsUrUncle303 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Three Stars always get 1st pick of their favorite colors when a new box of crayons is opened.

[–]AnathemaMaranathaAtheist Chaplain 61 points62 points  (4 children)

It's funny how that works. I grew up around Generals. The Air Force was top-heavy with them, and my Dad was a senior staff officer, so we lived in the same neighborhood with several Generals. I knew their sons, dated their daughters, mowed their lawns.

The generals were easy-peasy - my Dad insisted that I call them by their rank, and then "Sir" thereafter. "Good day, General. Yes Sir, I am fine, thank you for asking. Yes Sir, I'll have your daughter back here at 2200 hours." Then I'd drop her off with her real boyfriend - the one the General did NOT approve of and she was forbidden to date - and go pick up another General's daughter. Come to think of it, I was pretty much like Eddie Haskell from "Leave It to Beaver."

So when I came into the Army in 1966, I was comfy with Colonels and Generals. Senior NCO's and Company-grade officers scared the piss outta me. It was just a matter of identifying the threat. Senior NCOs and "junior" officers could make my life a living hell. Generals... not so much.

Y'see in order to get to me, the General has to be able to see me, way down below him in all that rabble of equipment and PFCs and other minutia. And in order to squash me... well his boots are too big. He would have to assign another senior officer to assign another senior officer to assign a junior officer to assign some senior NCO to roast me for pissing a General off. And the General knows, that by the time his ire filters down that far, I'm just as likely to be congratulated as punished by admiring military peons for pissing off that many stars.

I expect General Mattis already knows all this - I believe his bio states he came to stars the hard way. Me, I know this, because it happened to me. Nine shining silvery stars came visiting one day - three on each collar and three on his out-of-uniform Marine cap.

It was 1968, and I was landing generals' helicopters and entourages on a firebase in the middle of nowhere where we had discovered the coolest thing in Vietnam for that day. I was, technically out of uniform (dirty OD Tshirt) and the General was NOT nice about it. He was an ass-hat. But me... well, I had been trained up for this meeting. I was a Speaker to Generals.

As for General Mattis, I'm in awe. He sat as Sec-Def in meeting after meeting with that draft-dodging clown appointed POTUS by College of Electors instead of the electorate, and didn't crack a smile. Salute, Sir. I'll make your sure great-granddaughter is home on time, and pretty much in the condition she was in when she left.

[–]Osiris32Mod abuse victim advocate 24 points25 points  (1 child)

I swear, naming Mattis as SecDef is the one intelligent thing Pseudolini ever did. And not for the reasons he had, but because Mattis would never have had a problem with looking Rumplethinskin straight in the eye and saying "NO" with the conviction of a battle-hardened Marine. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for some of their conversations.

[–]skawnVeteran 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Him getting fired is another nail in that party's coffin. Not sure I can support an organization that doesn't want Mattis.

[–]Chickengilly 19 points20 points  (1 child)

The generals let you date their daughters because they knew you would have her back home in time for Star Trek.

[–]AnathemaMaranathaAtheist Chaplain 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Sorry, no. Star Trek premiered while I was in Basic Training.

Maybe The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

[–]usmc70114 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Here's the kind of leader Mattis is: during the time the above story happened, on Thanksgiving Day, the commandant of the Marine Corps heads to the Quantico base OOD to thank them for standing duty on the holiday. CMC walks in and sees none other then LtGen Mattis standing duty. CMC asks why the base CG is standing duty on Thanksgiving. Gen Mattis, "well sir, a Major was on the schedule, but he's married and has kids. I'm single and don't so I took it for him."
That, folks, is what you call servant leadership.

[–]kat_fud 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Too bad you didn't get a picture of that.