Legendary Marine General James Mattis is my favourite general, and it’s great to know that Donald Trump is considering him as defence secretary.
Mattis wrote a brief but very profound, very humane foreward to a great book written by Quaker Sheri Snively about her experiences serving as a chaplain in Iraq.
I read Sheri Snively’s account when I was in St John the Forerunner monastery, at a time when I was blogging about Ebola and struggling with the question of how to stay in contact with God in a hostile and dangerous environment, albeit of a very different kind from a theatre of conventional war.
Snively is very inspiring in the way she was able to brings the qualities of God, kindness, love as well as respect to all the people caught up in the terrible circumstances of a battle field.
Mattis is known as a great reader and progressive and flexible thinker, always carrying a copy of Marcus Aurelius with him on the battle field, where he fights with his soldiers in the fox holes on the front lines, sharing their hardships and dangers.
An intelligent, experienced, open minded and respected man like that will surely be able to bridge the military and civilian divide and master the political arena as defense secretary. I hope Trump picks him!