Defense

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis returns to General Dynamics' board of directors

Key Points
  • Former Defense Secretary James Mattis was elected to the board of directors of the defense contracting giant General Dynamics on Wednesday, the company said.
  • "Jim is a thoughtful, deliberate and principled leader with a proven track record of selfless service to our nation," said Phebe Novakovic, the company's CEO, in a statement. "We are honored to have him on our board."
  • Mattis previously served on the General Dynamics board of directors before joining the Trump administration in 2017 to become the 26th secretary of defense.
Defense Secretary James Mattis waits outside of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., April 23, 2018.
Department of Defense photo

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis was elected to the board of directors of the defense contracting giant General Dynamics on Wednesday, the company said.

"Jim is a thoughtful, deliberate and principled leader with a proven track record of selfless service to our nation," said Phebe Novakovic, the company's CEO, in a statement. "We are honored to have him on our board."

Mattis previously served on the General Dynamics board of directors before joining the Trump administration in 2017 to become the 26th secretary of defense.

Mattis, a Marine veteran, left the Trump administration in a shock resignation in December one day after President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria.

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The 68-year-old retired Marine Corps general, widely viewed as a stabilizing influence within the administration, wrote in his resignation letter that Trump had "right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours."

Before Mattis joined the Trump administration, he led the U.S. Central Command, the combat command responsible for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Throughout his military career, Mattis was referred to as "Mad Dog" and "warrior monk."

He was known for his strategy, kinship with rank-and-file servicemembers, matter-of-factness and disdain for PowerPoint, which is recognized as the U.S. military's signature teaching tool.

General Dynamics, known for the M1 Abrams tank, is the sixth largest defense contractor in the world by sales.

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, Commander, U.S. Central Command, talks to Marines on Dec. 25, 2011, in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Department of Defense photo