Long before James Mattis was Secretary of Defense, he was a Marine general known throughout the Corps as a tough-talking, no-bullshit commander. But everyone has to start somewhere. So, if you’ve ever wondered what “Mad Dog” Mattis was like before he earned his nom de guerre from the media — his preferred nickname is reportedly his old callsign: CHAOS, meaning the Colonel Has An Outstanding Solution — you’re in luck.
It might be tempting for some of the military’s top brass to get weighed down by all that bling on their collars, or slack off in the comfort of their plush chairs at the Pentagon. But not Marines like the 61-year-old Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who, in addition to maintaining his reputation as a PT stud, could probably kick your ass.
Department of Defense photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton
As Donald Trump prepares to take the nation’s highest office and become our next commander-in-chief, he will face a host of challenges both at home and abroad. As president, Trump will right away have to decide how to handle the ongoing battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. He’ll also need to manage an increasingly tenuous relationship between the United States and Iran, Russia, and China; and decide whether or not he’ll make good on threats to make U.S. military support for NATO member states conditional on whether they’ve met their financial obligations to the alliance, as he’s suggested in the past, among other national security issues.