17 Brilliant Insights From Legendary Marine General James Mattis

In our unending task to remain warriors for life, we must stay sharp and and ready to flip the switch at a moment’s notice.

I figure there are few better ways to motivate ourselves than to hear the words of today’s modern-day Chesty Puller.

So, as part of your training for this week, here are 17 Brilliant Insights From Legendary Marine General James Mattis.

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things American foreign policy, national security, and all things Marine Corps.


15 thoughts on “17 Brilliant Insights From Legendary Marine General James Mattis

  1. They left off this one. “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.” What he told Iraqi tribal leaders. SF.


  2. Oh the joys of PowerPoint. I’m pretty sure I’ve lost more brain cells to PowerPoint than I have to hard living.


  3. “In this age, I don’t care how tactically or operationally brilliant you are, if you cannot create harmony — even vicious harmony — on the battlefield based on trust across service lines, across coalition and national lines, and across civilian/military lines, you need to go home, because your leadership is obsolete. We have got to have officers who can create harmony across all those lines.”

    I’m all about Gen. Mattis, he had a way with words. But my favourite Gen. was Zinni. I like all the quotes listed, but that one right above (something Gen. Zinni would also say) is right on the money.

    With all the focus/funding on FAST and MSG Marines, with the DIA now headed by a Marine (which hopefully means more Marines there), the best way to solidify the concept above is to follow the FAO program–language training and travel, get as many Marines well versed in foreign areas and culture, and not just keep it within the O ranks.

    Language courses can be done at the Co. level, with Rosetta Stone and other private courses, FAST/MSG Marines are already out there, push ’em out, follow the FAO program, have them backpack around the country and make ’em do reports on infrastructure, culture, terrain, etc. Just ensure when Marines do this at most only 2 travel (you get 3 or more and it’s Subic Bay/Pattaya all over again, keep on the down low).


    • Man, LCpl_X… You never cease to amaze me with how much you know!

      Why aren’t you the one running this blog?!


      • Thanks, man. I’m just a big fan right now of the FAST/MSG program. With that video you posted, was really impressed by how smart those guys were and the process theyre having to go thru–looks a lot like a big city police academy.

        If they’re already selecting for a certain level of aptitude and intelligence, it certainly won’t hurt to push their skills further, and the FAO program is a great addition.

        As for blogs, I’m more a reactive guy, I don’t possess any creative sense, but when I read something I’ll have something to say, so just keep on putting great stuff out, bro, I’ll comment the best I can. I’m already a fan.



    If that’s your mandate, I’d hope you’d post daily. If not, then every other day. You mentioned your next book is set in the Af-Pak region, I’m sure you’re doing research overtime on these issues, so just share whatever you come up with.

    If you’re doing Af-Pak, then you should be doing the ME region, if youre doing the ME, then you’d be doing EU and Russia, and if you’re doing that then you should be doing Latin America and Africa, and if you’re doing that also Asia and Australia—everything’s connected.

    In the meantime, start getting in touch with Michael Mann, and pitch him your books to movie, with him directing–maybe review “Black Hat” here, and connect it all to your above mandate.


    • Cool deal. This gives me confidence that I can post more often. And it’s probably going to be awhile before someone’s tracking me down to make a movie!

      Vince Flynn’s books haven’t even been made into a movie yet, so I need to better brand Nick Woods!


      • I’m a fan of Tom Clancy’s, but more on his non-fiction stuff. Don’t know who Vince Flynn is, I need to check him out at the library. I actually inquired about your books at my local Barnes&Noble, but they don’t have you listed (were they wrong?).

        I’m not a big fan of online shopping, so I get my books either at the library or pay for ’em in cash. So I haven’t read any of your books.

        As for movies, you never know, bro, that chick that did Hunger Games got bought by Hollywood while she was still in school (I believe), so I think it’s just a matter of putting yourself out there, and your blogs so far are doing just that.

        50 Shades was fan fiction. With the success of American Sniper, I think Hollywood wants to strike while the iron’s hot, they were really surprised at how successful it was.

        We were talking about FAST/MSG and the FAO program up top, and I mentioned Donn Draeger on the other blog, you might want to incorporate some of that guy into your writing, he’s definitely one of the more versatile Marines I’ve read about. Heres an article on him: http://www.koryu.com/library/rsmith1.html


  5. There are people who were born to be warriors, there job is to protect and to motivate, serve and teach. It is said the job of a teacher is to teach, its the job of a student to listen.


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