Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis wasted no time in setting expectations and asserting his leadership after he was overwhelmingly confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Friday.
Mattis was sworn in on Friday after President Donald Trump and Congress approved a break with decades of precedent in allowing a recently retired general to serve as secretary of defense.
Mattis, coming out of retirement, has been hailed with great fanfare from military veterans, who believe the former Marine general’s impressive record of combat experience and extraordinary leadership style will make him an outstanding defense secretary.
Almost immediately after his swearing-in, Mattis sent a letter to DoD employees, a vision for the style he intends to portray as he prepares to head the Pentagon.
“It’s good to be back and I’m grateful to serve alongside you as Secretary of Defense,” Mattis wrote in his letter. The letter went on:
Together with the Intelligence Community, we are the sentinels and guardians of our nation. We need only look to you, the uniformed and civilian members of the Department and your families, to see the fundamental unity of our country.
You represent an America committed to the common good; an America that is never complacent about defending its freedoms; and America that remains a steady beacon of hope for all mankind.
Every action we take will be designed to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future. Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances. Further, we are devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of Congress and the American people.
In conclusion, Mattis expressed confidence that everyone working alongside him at the Defense Department is up to the task.
“I am confident you will do your part,” he concluded. “I pledge to you I’ll do my best as your Secretary.”