Who is this kindly-looking older gentleman between these two strapping young Marine Corps captains?

Their grandfather, perhaps?

He’s not very tall and kind of on the thin side. One thing is for certain; he doesn’t look very intimidating.

Maybe the chaplain has come for a visit.

Negative on all of the speculation above. This is none other than Major (at the time) General James “Mad Dog” Mattis. He was the Commanding General of the Marines during the invasion of Iraq, and his call sign was “Chaos.”

Following the invasion, Mattis withdrew his tanks and artillery to the rear and personally went to talk to Iraqi military leaders in areas where he had major concentrations of troops.

Mattis is not one to mince words; he told the Iraqis in no uncertain terms:

“I come in peace, I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me I’ll kill you all.”