This guy doesn’t waste any time. Less than an hour after being confirmed by the Senate on Jan. 20, Defense Secretary James Mattis addressed his department in an inspiring memo about American freedom, security, and the common good.

This move was meant to reassure the national security community that the retired Marine general takes his new civilian role seriously, and plans to strike a balance between military force and diplomacy.  

The full text of the memo is as follows.

It’s good to be back and I’m grateful to serve alongside you as Secretary of Defense.

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 an 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.

I am confident you will do your part. I pledge to you I’ll do my best as your Secretary.