It is official, President-elect Trump recently selected (Ret.) General Mattis as his Secretary of Defense. Rep. Ryan Zinke and many other veterans that served with Gen. Mattis in the past have stepped up to show their support for President Trump’s SECDEF choice. Zinke served 23 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL (1985-2008) which included two tours with SEAL Team Six, as both the deputy and acting commander of Joint Special Forces in Iraq. In 2004, Rep. Zinke and Gen. Mattis were both based in Fallujah when the city basically exploded with insurgent activity. Since this time Iraq together, both men have remained good friends. You can read Rep. Zinke’s statement supporting Gen. Mattis as the SECDEF below:

The following statement is from Congressman Ryan Zinke (R-MT):

 

“The time I was tackled by a young Marine sergeant while briefing General James N. Mattis in Fallujah in 2004 was neither the first nor last time a Marine would save my life. But it was certainly the most memorable. It was one of the first of many briefings with General Mattis – a Marine’s Marine whose God-given ability to inspire and lead men and women on the battlefield is legendary. My experience serving with General Mattis in Iraq was one of the most formidable times in my 23-year service with the U.S. Navy SEALs. I learned a lot from the ‘Warrior Monk’ and can think of no other man or woman who is as well-equipped to serve as the next Secretary of Defense at this point in time.”

 

“Above all else, the mission of the Department of Defense is to properly manage our national defense and troops and ensure our nation’s security. In addition to providing sound national security strategy, the SecDef is also charged with making sure our troops have the right training, equipment, and rules of engagement to win decisively on the field of battle. While the average soldier, sailor, airman or Marine may not be able to tell you how the National Defense Authorization Act directly impacts their job, they can tell you that their jobs are made harder by armchair quarterbacks in D.C. who have never even stepped foot on a military installation, let alone been to war.”

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“Troop morale is important. Our men and women need to know their commanders have their backs and that top brass at the Pentagon is doing everything they can to ensure decisive victory. Nobody understands war and the warrior ethos better than General Mattis. He makes a point of being in the thick of things with his troops and he makes a point of connecting personally with his men and women – something career bureaucrats in Washington are incapable of doing.”

 

“In 2004, Fallujah became a ‘warehouse of death’ after a high value target had been taken in by the SEALs and set off a tinderbox of insurgent activity. While trying to keep our troops alive, General Mattis also had to deal with the politics of the State Department and armchair quarterbacks at the Pentagon and White House, and all under the watchful eye of the international media. General Mattis did an exemplary job. General Mattis has proven himself a thousand times over.”

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