Mattis, James

Mattis, James,

1950–, American general and secretary of defense (2017–), b. Pullman, Wash., grad. Central Washington Univ. (1971). Commissioned as a second lieutenant (1972) in the Marines after completing ROTC training, he served as a lieutenant colonel in the Persian Gulf, as a colonel and a brigadier general in Afghanistan, and as a major general in Iraq. A four-star general from 2007, he succeeded General PetraeusPetraeus, David Howell
, 1952–, American military officer and government official, b. Cornwall, N.Y., studied West Point (B.S., 1974), U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (1983), Princeton (M.P.A. 1985; Ph.D., 1987).
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 as head of the U.S. Central Command in 2010. After retiring from the military (2013), he worked in the private sector and was a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. In 2017 he became secretary of defense under President Trump.