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A General Mattis USMC - Christmas Story

in Military Stories and Humor in Uniform Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:27 pm
by samD | 534 Posts

A General Mattis Christmas Story

Posted: 20 Dec 2010 07:13 AM PST

General Mattis
A couple of months ago, when I told General Krulak, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, now the chair of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, that we were having General Mattis speak this evening, he said, “Let me tell you a Jim Mattis story.” General Krulak said, when he was Commandant of the Marine Corps, every year, starting about a week before Christmas, he and his wife would bake hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Christmas cookies. They would package them in small bundles.

Then on Christmas day, he would load his vehicle. At about 4 a.m., General Krulak would drive himself to every Marine guard post in the Washington-Annapolis-Baltimore area and deliver a small package of Christmas cookies to whatever Marines were pulling guard duty that day. He said that one year, he had gone down to Quantico as one of his stops to deliver Christmas cookies to the Marines on guard duty. He went to the command center and gave a package to the lance corporal who was on duty.

He asked, “Who’s the officer of the day?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it’s Brigadier General Mattis.” And General Krulak said, “No, no, no. I know who General Mattis is. I mean, who’s the officer of the day today, Christmas day?” The lance corporal, feeling a little anxious, said, “Sir, it is Brigadier General Mattis.”

General Krulak said that, about that time, he spotted in the back room a cot, or a daybed. He said, “No, Lance Corporal. Who slept in that bed last night?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it was Brigadier General Mattis.”

About that time, General Krulak said that General Mattis came in, in a duty uniform with a sword, and General Krulak said, “Jim, what are you doing here on Christmas day? Why do you have duty?” General Mattis told him that the young officer who was scheduled to have duty on Christmas day had a family, and General Mattis decided it was better for the young officer to spend Christmas Day with his family, and so he chose to have duty on Christmas Day.

General Krulak said, “That’s the kind of officer that Jim Mattis is.”

لن أستسلم لموتُ لالاس "I will not submit.Death to Islam!"

The Socialists told us long ago that since they could not beat us with force, that they would destroy us slowly from within. So far it is working pretty well. MOLON LABE

Last edited Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:38 pm | Scroll up


RE: A General Mattis USMC - Christmas Story

in Military Stories and Humor in Uniform Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:54 pm
by Vaquero | 156 Posts

That is a leader.

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RE: A General Mattis USMC - Christmas Story

in Military Stories and Humor in Uniform Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:57 pm
by Larry W | 158 Posts

I second that Vaq, That is one hell of a leader.


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RE: A General Mattis USMC - Christmas Story

in Military Stories and Humor in Uniform Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:51 pm
by LLE | 101 Posts

It isn't always the Senior officers that go to bat for us grunts. My story is much more personal, but just as illustrative: It was just after we were called to active duty during the Korean war. We had been brought up to full TO/E strength by draftees who had just finished basic, and we took them through advanced basic to get ready for whatever assignment might come. Then came the time for the section NCO's to fight over the best candidates. I knew that I would need the brightest because the damned radar and analog computer were difficult to learn, and were the heart and soul of accurate firing. The system was WW II vintage being held together by wire and chewing gum and a few midnight parts requisitions from the Signal Corps, but it was a miracle of electronics for its time. [As an example, it literally saved the Anzio beachhead from destruction by the last ditch remnants of the Luftwaffe. The close estimate was 98% kills for everything they threw against us, and that was the beginning of the end for the German Air Force.]. I went to my Range Platoon officer--a former WW II B-17 pilot, who did not want to go back to flying-- I told him I would like to see the 201 files of every draftee, especially their AFQT scores, before I interviewed, even though I had seen them all "in action".
He said he thought the CO would not approve of that, and I told him if he wanted to maximize the probability that our certified firing record was going to be one of the best in the brigade, I had to select the brightest and most motivated learners. He laughed his a$$ off and said something like,"Jeez! You give a young Sgt. some college and he thinks he's Sigmund Freud!" He said he'd consult with the Gun Platoon officer [good buddy of mine] and see what he might recommend. Short story--one day I was up for CQ, and that evening the flyboy LT visited me at the office with the keys to the files. Shorter story--I got to do my thing, and got the sharpest and quickest learners. LT flyboy made sure of that. Shortest story-- Tied for the best firing record in the brigade.
Fast forward: LT flyboy says, "great work Sgt, but now the damned radar is breaking down too often. You have to go to Tech school". Me--" OK, my backup can handle the job, until I get back". When do I go?" LT flyboy: "Soon, but there's some bad news too". Me--"What is it?" LT flyboy--"I am not supposed to tell you, but you are up for the battalion NCO promo board just when you have to leave. If you do not attend, no new stripe." Me--"Well, maybe when I get back from school............" LT flyboy-- we will see. LT gunman and I have the CO's approval to see the Bn Commander about this situation. You can stay for the board if you want to, but the next Tech class is pretty far down the road." Me--"No, I want that class." LT flyboy-- "I expect good grades, and no screwing around in Juarez."
Fast forward again: Three weeks or so after I started school, I got a message to report to the school detatchment HQ. I am shown to the CO's office, and he says something like, "better get some new stripes and a sewing kit", and he hands me the promotion orders! I was flabbergasted.
Next short story. I learned from a friend [Chief WO at Bn HQ] that those two LT's actually took my place before the board, answered questions that would have been directed to me, and got me the promotion!! Christmas time, each of them got a mysterious package [I was told]. Each contained a fifth of Chivas Regal 24. Whoever sent those presents must have thought a lot of those two junior officers...............

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