Watch Mattis Give US Troops In The Middle East The Ultimate Pep Talk

Leadership
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis meets with German, Lithuanian, Dutch, Belgian and American military members at Pabrade Training Area, Lithuania, May 10, 2017.
Photo via DoD

Hours after President Donald Trump laid out the government's new approach to the 16-year-old U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan on Aug. 21, Secretary of Defense James Mattis arrived in Baghdad to reassure Iraqi political leaders that yes, the fight against ISIS is going swimmingly.


"ISIS is on the run," Mattis said following an Aug. 22 confab with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, according to the Associated Press. "They have been shown to be unable to stand up to our team in combat ... ISIS's days are certainly numbered, but it's not over yet and it's not going to be over anytime soon."

But the next day, Mattis delivered a more casual pep-talk to the Americans service members stationed in Jordan who are actually fighting on the front lines of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria. His remarks, recorded by a service member and posted to Facebook by the mega-popular U.S. Army W.T.F! Moments page, are classic Chaos: Polite and respectful but guaranteed to get combat troops fired up and ready to go.

The secretary of defense opened with his usual dry humor: "My name's Mattis ... I work at the Department of Defense, obviously." But once he had the assembled troops' attention, Mattis dove into the serious stuff:

You get promoted after awhile and you're so remote that you get out touch with those of you that matter. But believe me, I know you're far from home, every one of ya, and I know you could all be going to college, you young people, or you could be back on the block ... 

The only way this great big experiment you and I call America is going to survive is we got tough hombres like you. Some of you are too young, Cpl. Walton, but on 9/11 we were up against an enemy that thought if he could hurt us he could scare us, but we don't fricken scare. That's the bottom line. 

That "tough hombres" in particular line stands out, if only because it's the same term that Trump used to refer to the drug cartels wreaking havoc in Mexico during the earliest days of his administration. We'll chalk it up to coincidence.

WATCH NEXT:

Barrett's bolt-action Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) system (Courtesy photo)

The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.

Read More
(U.S. Air Force photo)

Air Force officials are investigating the death of a man near the north gate of the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday night after the NHL Stadium Series hockey game between the Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings, military officials said Sunday.

Read More
(Navy photo / Chief Mass Communication Specialist Paul Seeber)

The Citizens of Ebey's Reserve (COER) is asking a federal judge to require the Navy to roll back the number of EA-18G Growler practice flights at Outlying Field Coupeville to pre-2019 levels until a lawsuit over the number of Growler flights is settled.

COER and private citizen Paula Spina filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Thursday.

According to the motion, since March 2019 the Navy has increased the number of Growlers at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and shifted most of its Growler operations to Outlying Field Coupeville, which is near the Reserve and the town of Coupeville.

"The result is a nearly fourfold increase in Growler flights in that area. Now the overflights subject residents in and near Coupeville to extreme noise for several hours of the day, day and night, many days of the week," said the court document.

Read More
An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron taxis down the runway during Sentry Aloha 20-1 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Jan. 15, 2020. (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

A 26-year-old man died after he failed to surface from waters off Molokai while participating in a scuba diving tour over the weekend.

He has been identified as Duane Harold Parsley II and was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, according to the Maui Police Department.

Read More
Manzanar, the first of ten such concentration camps established by Executive Order No. 9066 on February 19, 1942. (Dorothea Lange for the War Relocation Authority)

LOS ANGELES — For decades, Japanese American activists have marked Feb. 19 as a day to reflect on one of the darkest chapters in this nation's history.

On that date in 1942, during World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the forced removal of over 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent from their homes and businesses.

On Thursday, the California Assembly will do more than just remember.

Read More