Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Legendary Marine General Jim Mattis On What Makes This Generation of American Veterans Different
The general, who last year retired his post as commander of U.S. Central Command and finished a remarkable career of military service, is well known for his no-nonsense brand of rhetoric. He’s a tough-talking brilliant military tactician who has few peers in American history.
His hour long speech last week was great, and many have covered his remarks on post-traumatic stress where he said that veterans were not victims.
It’s an important message, but I was struck by something else Mattis said, about the next great generation of modern military veterans.
“And here I speak directly to the combat veterans of our current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he began.
On what makes veterans stand out among this generation:
“All volunteers, all volunteers, you look past the hot political rhetoric swirling around these little understood wars and you rallied to the flag. You signed blank checks payable with your lives to the American people. And for the first major war in our history, our nation fought without a draft. Unlike the Civil War, unlike World War I, unlike World War II, unlike Korea, unlike Vietnam -- a draft that pushed me into the military -- you, the volunteers of this war, are the element of this generation that is demonstrably, that is demonstrably great, shown not by your words, but by your actions."
On the commitment shouldered by veterans and their families:
“Those who might wonder about the purpose about your family’s sacrifice during this long war, all of us must remember there is a great deal of difference between the national level of commitment and your personal level of commitment. That difference is highlighted first by you veterans and your valor and your ferocity that sent a critically necessary message to our enemies.”
On how modern vets stack up with American military history:
“You vets, who stepped forward without self pity, and steadfastly went after this enemy, you showed them that the descendents of Shiloh, of Bellau Wood, of Iwo, of Chosin Reservoir, and Khe Sanh, you showed them that free men and free women can fight like the dickens and we don’t scare.”
On fighting for the man next to you, and the purpose veterans bring home:
“Second, in our personal commitment, we fought to bring each other home. And our comrades spirits, be they living or dead, their spirits live on in each of us. And bring a noble purpose to our lives, those of us who are lucky enough to get this bonus of another day. And to our final days that purpose is never to be forgotten. Physically or spiritually, we did bring each other home, and we want no pity. For you veterans of this war whose ethical and total commitment represent everything that is great about our country, our country is stronger thanks to your commitment and your blood, sweat, and tears.”
On the meaning of service for modern combat veterans:
“For you veterans who shared what Civil War infantry officer and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. called the ‘incommunicable experience of war,’ you must know that your example is the meaning of your service and of the time that you spent fighting overseas, that your impact on the lives of others will continue to resonate, because your comrades and your shipmates will not die in our hearts.”
Watch that portion of his remarks below:
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.