Secretary of Defense James Mattis greets U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after arriving at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, 2017. (DOD photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley)

On New Year's Eve, a short phone call will mark the end of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' tenure and the beginning of Patrick Shanahan's command of the Pentagon.

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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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DoD
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President Donald Trump said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is retiring "with distinction" at the end of February 2019, according to a tweet on Thursday.

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DoD photo/U.S. Army Sgt. James K. McCann

With his typical swagger, Defense Secretary James Mattis has swatted down speculation that his time at the Pentagon is nearing its end.

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After recent allegations presented in Bob Woodward's upcoming book Fear: Trump In The White House, Secretary of Defense James Mattis may be in the hot seat. Task & Purpose's Jeff Schogol reports:

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