Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Want To Know How Mattis Got The Callsign 'Chaos'? Here's The Story
James. Jim, sure. Jimbo, maybe. Mad Dog, never. "Chaos," always.
For years, it's been widely reported, often by the man himself, that retired Marine general and Secretary of Defense James Mattis has only one really acceptable nickname, the callsign that followed him through the service: chaos. But what about the affably blunt Pacific Northwest fly-fisherman and paternal, profane battlefield marshal suggests disorder and entropy? What possible explanation can a nickname like that have?
Reader, wonder no more. Marine Corps Times' Mackenzie Wolf reports that during Mattis' keynote speech at the Air Force Association's Air, Space and Cyber conference on Sept. 20, someone in the crowd asked about the "Mad Dog" moniker, which he brushed off as a media concoction. But in answering, Mattis decided to talk about the "Chaos" callsign.
DOD photo/Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley
"I must confess how I got that name," Mattis started. Then he proceeded to tell a story about some very clever Marines who served under him:
When the call sign originated, the then-colonel was a regimental commander in Twentynine Palms where, according to Mattis, “there’s nothing to do but go blow up the desert.” As he was leaving his operations office, he noticed the word “Chaos” written on the operations officer’s whiteboard.
“I said, ‘What’s this about?’ I’m curious, you know. We all are. He says ‘oh you don’t need to know that,’” which only further piqued curiosity.
“Finally, he kinda said, ‘Well it means the colonel has an outstanding solution,’ and it was very much tongue in cheek, ladies and gentlemen. They didn’t consider all my solutions quite as outstanding as I enthusiastically promoted them,” said Mattis.
Marines: Never, never, never underestimate the cynical creativity of your S3. That's alright: Mattis looks like he was a good-natured, if stiff, fellow in those long-ago days.
Just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning 78 years ago, Lauren Bruner was preparing for church services and a date that would follow with a girl he'd met outside his Navy base.
The 21-year-old sailor was stationed as a fire controlman aboard the U.S. battleship USS Arizona, overseeing the vessel's .50-caliber guns.
Then alarms rang out. A Japanese plane had bombed the ship in a surprise attack.
It took only nine minutes for the Arizona to sink after the first bomb hit. Bruner was struck by gunfire while trying to flee the inferno that consumed the ship, the second-to-last man to escape the explosion that killed 1,177, including his best friend; 335 survived.
More than 70% of Bruner's body was burned. He was hospitalized for weeks.
Now, nearly eight decades after that fateful day, Bruner's ashes will be delivered to the sea that cradled his fallen comrades, stored in an urn inside the battleship's wreckage.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Joshua Kaleb Watson has been identified as one of the victims of a shooting at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, CBS News reported.
The 23-year-old Alabama native and Naval Academy graduate was named to the Academy's prestigious Commandant's and Dean's lists, and also competed on the rifle team, Alabama's WTVY reported.
NAS Pensacola shooter railed against the US and quoted Osama bin Laden online hours before the attack
PENSACOLA, Fla. (Reuters) - The Saudi airman accused of killing three people at a U.S. Navy base in Florida appeared to have posted criticism of U.S. wars and quoted slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on social media hours before the shooting spree, according to a group that monitors online extremism.
Federal investigators have not disclosed any motive behind the attack, which unfolded at dawn on Friday when the Saudi national is said to have began firing a handgun inside a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola.
NAS Pensacola shooter reportedly hosted a 'dinner party' to watch mass shooting videos the week before the attack
The Saudi military officer who shot and killed 3 people at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday reportedly hosted a "dinner party" the week before the attack "to watch videos of mass shootings," the Associated Press reports, citing an unnamed U.S. official.
The Minnesota National Guard has released the names of the three soldiers killed in Thursday's helicopter crash.