110+ James Mattis Quotes On Reading, Training And Military

Top 10 James Mattis Quotes (BEST)

  1. You are part of the world's most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.
  2. Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment (in American democracy) and kill every one of them until they're so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact.
  3. PowerPoint makes us stupid.
  4. There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline...you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.
  5. You've been told that you're broken. That you're damaged goods ... there is also Post-Traumatic Growth. You come back from war stronger and more sure of who you are.
  6. You can overcome wrong technology. Your people have the initiative, they see the problem, no big deal ... you can't overcome bad culture. You've gotta change whoever is in charge.
  7. You cannot allow any of your people to avoid the brutal facts. If they start living in a dream world, it's going to be bad.
  8. I would happily storm hell in the company of these troops ... how strongly they have demonstrated to the world that free men and women can fight like the dickens.
  9. Be the hunter, not the hunted: Never allow your unit to be caught with its guard down.
  10. It is mostly a matter of wills. Whose will is going to break first? Ours or the enemy's?

James Mattis Short Quotes

Go to table of contents

  • There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It's really great.
  • Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit.
  • The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event.
  • Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot.
  • Don't create more enemies than you take out by some immoral act.
  • There are going to be good days and bad days. Bottom line.
  • Iran is not a nation-state; it's a revolutionary cause devoted to mayhem.
  • Gains achieved at great cost against our enemy in Afghanistan are reversible.
  • It's very hard to live with yourself if you don't stick with your moral code.
  • There is one way to have a short but exciting conversation with me, and that is to move too slow.

James Mattis Quotes On Reading

Go to table of contents

If you read enough biography and history, you learn how people have dealt successfully or unsuccessfully with similar situations or patterns in the past. It doesn't give you a template of answers, but it does help you refine the questions you have to ask yourself. — James Mattis

Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed... It doesn't give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead. — James Mattis

I can't tell you the number of times I looked down at what was going on on the ground, or I was engaged in a fight somewhere, and I knew within a couple of minutes how I was going to screw up the enemy. And I knew it because I'd done so much reading. — James Mattis

You stay teachable most by reading books. By reading what other people went through. — James Mattis

By reading, you learn through others' experiences, generally, a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men. — James Mattis

Read about history, and you become aware that nothing starts with us. — James Mattis

Perhaps if you are in support functions waiting on the warfighters to spell out the specifics of what you are to do, you can avoid the consequences of not reading. Those who must adapt to overcoming an independent enemy's will are not allowed that luxury. — James Mattis

James Mattis Quotes On Military

Go to table of contents

An untrained or uneducated Marine ... deployed to the combat zone is a bigger threat to mission accomplishment ... than the enemy. — James Mattis

It's quite fun to fight them, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up front with you, I like brawling. — James Mattis

I think, broadly speaking, the US military's role - US military activism in various parts of the Islamic world over the past several decades has been counterproductive. — James Mattis

We have the most skillful, firecest, and certainly the most ethical ground forces in the world... I'm not saying we have to commit right now, but certainly don't pull it off the table. — James Mattis

What would you do differently as defense secretary to compensate for this record in which the greatest military in the world, as we are constantly told, doesn't get the job done? — James Mattis

There is no room for military people, including our veterans, to see themselves as victims, even if so many of our countrymen are prone to relish that role. — James Mattis

The military can buy our diplomats some time. — James Mattis

The U.S. military is not war weary. Our military draws strength from confronting our enemies when clear policy objectives are set and we are fully resourced for the fight. — James Mattis

We do everything humanly possible, consistent with military necessity, taking many chances to avoid civilian casualties, at all costs. — James Mattis

Most people know nobody in the military. — James Mattis

James Mattis Quotes On Polite

Go to table of contents

I was struck by the fact that none of the senators, basically, asked General [James] Mattis, "Well, General, how is it that we haven't won?" We haven't won anywhere, 'winning' in the sense of conclusively achieving our political objectives, however you might want to define those objectives. — James Mattis

Basically, Islamic State is a combined al Qaeda and Lebanese Hezbollah on steroids, destabilizing the region, dissolving borders/changing the political geography in the Mid-east, and hardening political positions that make Mid-east peace-building more remote by the day. — James Mattis

Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet. — James Mattis

The fundamental question I believe is, 'Is political Islam in our best interest?' If not, what is our policy to authoritatively support the countervailing forces? — James Mattis

James Mattis Quotes On Kill

Go to table of contents

Yousef Aid Ahmed has memorized the places where his four brothers' bodies laid after they were killed by US marines, he said. The family recounts that November day in 2005 and says it was a massacre of the brothers, along with 20 other people, following a roadside bomb in Haditha. — James Mattis

Anyone who kills women and children is not devout. ISIS cannot dress themselves up in false religious garb and say that somehow this message has dignity. We're going to strip them of any kind of legitimacy. — James Mattis

We can kill lots of people. We do kill lots of people. We can destroy virtually anything we choose to destroy. — James Mattis

If in order to kill the enemy you have to kill an innocent, don't take the shot. Don't create more enemies than you take out by some immoral act. — James Mattis

The destruction that we have wreaked in the various theaters in which we've been engaged is really quite astonishing. But again, lethality, destruction, killing doesn't seem to achieve our objectives. So, my own sense is that a lack of lethality does not define the core problem. — James Mattis

James Mattis Famous Quotes And Sayings

Go to table of contents

We've backed off in good faith to try and give you a chance to straighten this problem out. But I am going to beg with you for a minute. I'm going to plead with you, do not cross us. Because if you do, the survivors will write about what we do here for 10,000 years. — James Mattis

For the mission's sake, our country's sake, and the sake of the men who carried the Division's colors in the past battles - who fought for life and never lost their nerve - carry out your mission and keep your honor clean. Demonstrate to the world there is "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy" than a U.S. Marine. — James Mattis

You've been told that you're broken, that you're damaged goods and should be labeled victims. I don't buy it. The truth, instead, is that you are the only folks with the skills, determination, and values to ensure American dominance in this chaotic world. — James Mattis

The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some *******s in the world that just need to be shot. There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim. — James Mattis

I just hope we can find our way back to engaging with one another, arguing strongly with one another, and then going down and having a root beer together or something and - and having a good laugh about it as we work together for the best interests of the next generation of Americans who are going to inherit this country. — James Mattis

Treachery has existed as long as there's been warfare, and there's always been a few people that you couldn't trust. — James Mattis

Since 9/11 we've been engaged in wars around the world, and General [James] Mattis has been a leading battlefield commander in many of those theaters, including in the April 2004 siege of Fallujah, where the US Marines killed so many people that the municipal soccer stadium in the city had to be turned into a graveyard for the dead. — James Mattis

The United States has been essentially engaged in an ongoing war that most people date from 2001. That war has taken us to Afghanistan, to Iraq, in a lesser way to other countries - Libya, Somalia, Yemen. — James Mattis

General [James] Mattis's primary experience - indeed, his only experience - is as a member of the United States Marine Corps, where he served for 41 years. That's his experience. — James Mattis

With respect to the outlines of what's in the Army Field Manual, there's no doubt in my mind about the limitations it places not only on the DOD, but on the Central Intelligence Agency. And I'll always comply with the law. — James Mattis

I think the core problem is much closer to recognizing where force is of value, where it is useful, and to distinguish that from situations in which war is not useful or is indeed counterproductive. — James Mattis

I find it disturbing that no member of the Senate Armed Services Committee is willing to acknowledge that record of failure and to ask our next secretary of defense what he proposes to do to amend that sorry record. — James Mattis

In a country with millions of people and cars going everywhere, the enemy is going to get a car bomb out there once in awhile. — James Mattis

Be the hunter, not the hunted. — James Mattis

The Army was always big on Clausewitz, the Prussian; the Navy on Alfred Thayer Mahan, the American; and the Air Force on Giulio Douhet, the Italian. But the Marine Corps has always been more Eastern-oriented. I am much more comfortable with Sun-tzu and his approach to warfare. — James Mattis

Engage your brain before you engage your weapon. — James Mattis

You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. — James Mattis

As commanders and staff officers, we are coaches and sentries for our units: how can we coach anything if we don't know a hell of a lot more than just the TTPs? — James Mattis

We know that in tough times, cynicism is just another way to give up, and in the military, we consider cynicism or giving up simply as forms of cowardice. — James Mattis

The Corps is in good hands, and it's been a privilege to serve with the Leathernecks. Now it's time to go. — James Mattis

We should not fight wars without a clearly defined end state... when you go to war, it can't be a half-step. — James Mattis

It's a lot easier to stay idealistic if you don't sign two to five next-of-kin letters every day. — James Mattis

Fight with a happy heart. — James Mattis

It is not scientifically possible to accurately predict the outcome of an action. To suggest otherwise runs contrary to historical experience and the nature of war. — James Mattis

The American people and the American military will never get used to civilian casualties. And we will - we will fight against that every way we can possibly bring our intelligence and our tactics to bear. We're not the perfect guys, but we are the good guys. — James Mattis

There are a lot of self-imposed restrictions by people who somehow believe they have to fall in with a certain military cant. There was always a sense that we had to put things into words that would touch our troops' hearts, not just their heads. — James Mattis

I don't lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word. — James Mattis

Wherever the enemy wants to fight, we will follow him to the ends of the Earth. We'll adapt, we'll train, we'll advise, we'll mentor, and we'll fight, and we'll fight well. — James Mattis

There is no God-given right to victory on the battlefield. You win that through the skill and the devotion, the valor and the ferocity of your troops. — James Mattis

I would consider the principal threats to start with Russia. And it would certainly include any nations that are looking to intimidate nations around their periphery, regional nations nearby them, whether it be with weapons of mass destruction or I would call it unusual, unorthodox means of intimidating them. — James Mattis

I like the enemy knowing there are a few guys like me around. — James Mattis

I would just say there is one misperception of our veterans, and that is they are somehow damaged goods. I don't buy it. — James Mattis

To Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase... Rather, it's displayed by blood, sweat, and tears for the fallen. — James Mattis

The Iranian regime, in my mind, is the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East. — James Mattis

Marines don't know how to spell the word 'defeat'. — James Mattis

We do not draw red lines unless we intend to carry them out. We have made very clear that we are willing to work with China, and we believe China has tried to be helpful. — James Mattis

We all recognize that the Mid-east is dissolving into crises, and we know terrorism did not start with 9-11. — James Mattis

No war is over until the enemy says it's over. We may think it over, we may declare it over, but in fact, the enemy gets a vote. — James Mattis

We face now an era where we're going to be fighting the terrorist threat. I mean, that's simply a reality we are going to have to address that one. — James Mattis

There is only one 'retirement plan' for terrorists. — James Mattis

I have never thought it necessary to patronize the American people. — James Mattis

Policy makers who have never served in the military continue to use the military to lead social change in this country. — James Mattis

What is the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked by ISIS? One. That is Iran. That is more than happenstance, I'm sure. — James Mattis

We are going to have to continue to keep the pressure on the enemy. There is no room for complacency on this. — James Mattis

Some people feel affronted when something they thought to be true doesn't happen. If that's the case, then your sense of risk is much higher, and that leads to risk aversion. You need to be able to be comfortable in uncertainty. — James Mattis

Notifying the enemy in advance of our withdrawal dates or reassuring the enemy that we will not use certain capabilities like our ground forces should be avoided. — James Mattis

Sometimes there are no good guys. There are no bad guys. It seems like everybody is in the middle. — James Mattis

I don't worry about stress. I create it. — James Mattis

So long as our Corps fields such Marines, America has nothing to fear from tyrants, be they Fascists, Communists or Tyrants with Medieval Ideology. For we serve in a Corps with no institutional confusion about our purpose: To fight! To fight well! — James Mattis

I don't write policy for my government. — James Mattis

I have never been bewildered for long in any fight with our enemies - I was Armed with Insight. — James Mattis

There's no way that that our military power will not erode if a robust American economic revival is not part of the cards. — James Mattis

No matter how bad any situation, cynicism has no positive impact. Watching the news, you might notice that cynicism and victimhood often seem to go hand-in-hand, but not for veterans. — James Mattis

The Marines have landed, and we now own a piece of Afghanistan. — James Mattis

I don't have the best track record with quotes. — James Mattis

Nothing keeps me awake at night. I keep other people awake at night. — James Mattis

Since coming back from overseas, this is more of a foreign country than the places overseas. I don't understand it. It's like America has lost faith in rational thought. — James Mattis

What we achieved was a nuclear pause, not a nuclear halt. — James Mattis

2017 is going to be another tough year for the valiant Afghan Security Forces and the international troops who have stood and will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan against terrorism. — James Mattis

Congressman [Mike] Pompeo said he believes the intelligence agencies' claims that Russia hacked the US election. — James Mattis

For the mission's sake, for our country's sake, and the sake of the men who carried the Division's colors in past battles - carry out your mission and keep your honor clean. — James Mattis

The importance of strengthening Euro-Atlantic security: the growing dangers pile pressure on our rules-based international system, so we need to do more to strengthen NATO, the bedrock of our defense - not just upping spending, but making the alliance more agile and more capable of tackling dangers from all directions. — James Mattis

There are hunters, and there are victims. By your discipline, cunning, obedience, and alertness, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim. — James Mattis

What concerned me was that [James Mattis] played not only a critical role as a battlefield commander in Fallujah, but also, afterwards, when he was promoted to various other higher-ranking positions, he served as a convening authority in court-martial proceedings against various marines who had been accused of atrocities - for example, in the Haditha massacre, where a group of marines went on a killing spree after one in their unit was killed. — James Mattis

I would storm the gates of Hell if Third Marine Air Wing was overhead. — James Mattis

There is no corporation in the world that would, in a competitive environment, try and concentrate all decisions at the corporate level. — James Mattis

If you can't eat it, shoot it, or wear it, don't bring it. — James Mattis

The example that America knows how to govern itself is one of the compelling aspects of our national security. — James Mattis

No one gives a damn what Iran thinks on any significant issue. The only reason Iran is at the big boys' table is because of their nuclear weapons program. — James Mattis

ISIS is a threat to all civilized nations. America's intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to North Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa. We're not going to allow them to do so. We're going to stop them there and take apart the caliphate. — James Mattis

Now from a distance, I look back on what the Corps taught me: to think like men of action, and to act like men of thought! — James Mattis

I've had some 'riotous excursions of the human spirit' alongside the young Sailors and Marines, and it's time to leave the stage to the young leaders who got their rank the old-fashioned way - they earned their stripes in combat. — James Mattis

Life Lessons by James Mattis

Go to table of contents

  1. James Mattis has demonstrated that dedication and hard work can help to achieve success, no matter the odds.
  2. He has also shown that it is possible to maintain a strong sense of integrity and moral values, even in the face of difficult decisions.
  3. His life story serves as an example of how to be a leader who is respected and admired by those around them.

In Conclusion

Which quote resonated with you best? Did you enjoy our collection of James Mattis quotes? Or may be you have a quotation about James Mattis to suggest. Let us know using our contact form.

About the author

This collection is managed by , with an extensive background in quote curation. They have meticulously gathered, researched, and compiled the quotes featured on this page. Every quote has been diligently cross-verified for its origin, its authenticity, and its potential influence on our readership.

Citation

Feel free to cite and use any of the quotes by James Mattis. For popular citation styles (APA, Chicago, MLA), go to citation page.

Embed HTML Link

Copy and paste this HTML code in your webpage