Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has resigned from his post — leaving many to freak out about what's to come in the defense world — but a message he personally delivered last year to troops under his command is worth heeding before he departs in February.

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It's generally well known that Secretary of Defense James Mattis hates the "Mad Dog" nickname that U.S. Marines affectionately bestowed upon him during the Iraq War, but apparently that didn't stop his boss from giving him an even crappier new moniker: "Moderate Dog."

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DoD

James. Jim, sure. Jimbo, maybe. Mad Dog, never. "Chaos," always.

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DOD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith

Before he was “Mad Dog” and “Chaos,” before he commanded divisions in Baghdad and Fallujah, and before he assumed his rightful place at the helm of the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense James Norman Mattis was just little Jim from Richland, Washington.

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DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr

On July 13, as the House debated an amendment to the 2018 Pentagon budget bill that would have barred the military from funding servicemembers’ gender reassignment surgeries, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis privately intervened, calling the amendment’s Republican sponsor and asking her to withdraw it from consideration, CNN reports.

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