Then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis listens to President Donald Trump speaking during a luncheon with the Baltic States Heads of Government at The White House in Washington, DC, April 3, 2018. (Associated Press/Chris Kleponis/picture-alliance/dpa)

Buried in former Defense Secretary James Mattis' essay in the Wall Street Journal is a leadership lesson that sounds an awful lot like a veiled criticism of President Donald Trump's tendency to bully subordinates in person and on social media.

While the retired Marine general does not dwell on his decision to resign last December in protest over Trump's decision to withdraw all U.S. troops in Syria, which the commander-in-chief later reversed. Instead, Mattis opted to reiterate what he wrote in his resignation letter about the importance of treating allies with respect.

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Former Defense Secretary James Mattis' official portrait was unveiled on Friday, and it's the perfect troll.

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Former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis (DoD photo)

A Richland, Washington city councilman thinks native son Jim Mattis would make a terrific governor or even president.

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Nearly two weeks after he submitted his resignation letter, former Defense Secretary James Mattis has officially left the Pentagon. The building already feels like a less lethal place.

The legendary Marine general has been replaced by former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan, who has a reputation for being able to solve complicated problems. (As the Pentagon's space guy, he is also the defense official whom your friendly Pentagon correspondent once asked if Space Force needed a Starfleet Academy and rifle squads to "seek out and destroy other lifeforms.")

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The White House

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he was "in no rush" to pick someone to replace Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, which must be a huge disappointment to the hundreds of candidates clamoring for the job previously held by one of the most-respected generals in decades who just resigned in protest.

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DoD photo/Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has signed the execute order withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose.

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