Former CENTCOM Boss Gen. Mattis Favorite To Be Defense Secretary

President – elect Trump set to name former CENTCOM boss Gen. Mattis Defense Secretary.

After a long meeting with President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday it looks like former Tampa based, CENTCOM boss retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis. Trump referred to the general by his nickname, “Mad Dog Mattis,” and said the four-star was being considered for defense secretary.

According to the Trump transition team in a statement sent to News Talk Florida, the meeting was very impressive. The President-elect and Vice President-elect were very impressed in their meeting with the “real deal” and American hero General James Mattis. They had an incredibly in-depth conversation on plans for national security. The discussion included ISIS, the Middle East, North Korea, China, NATO and other hotspots around the world.

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In Mattis, Trump has a candidate who was held in high regard throughout the ranks of the Marine Corps during his 44 years of service. A seasoned combat commander, he led a task force into southern Afghanistan in 2001 and a Marine division at the time of the Iraq invasion in 2003.

The retired four-star general, who was known as we said as “Mad Dog,” was lauded for his leadership of Marines in the 2004 Battle of Falluja in Iraq — one of the bloodiest of the war.

But he attracted controversy in 2005 when he said “it’s fun to shoot some people” while addressing service members in San Diego.

Mattis was a fixture in Tampa he led U.S. Central Command from 2010-2013. He installed in that post at MacDill by President Barack Obama. At the official installation at MacDill, it was hosted by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Gen. Lloyd J. Austin, III.

Attendees at the ceremony included Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps; Gen. John F. Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command; Adm. William H. McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command; several NATO officials; chiefs of defense from US CENTCOM coalition countries; and ambassadors to the United States. Also in attendance were several local, state and national representatives including U.S. House of Representatives members Hon. Bill Young from Florida’s District 13, and Hon. Kathy Castor from Florida’s District 14, and Tampa Mayor, Bob Buckhorn.

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Should Trump decide to choose Mattis for the Pentagon, his 2013 retirement would create at least one hurdle: A retired officer is required to be out of uniform for at least seven years before taking control of the sprawling Pentagon responsibilities.

Mattis would require a waiver from Congress to be eligible for the position — something that, with Republicans in control on Capitol Hill and the general praise for the general’s career, would likely be a formality to obtain.

 

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.