Jim leftwich dating

Joining the Marine Corps at the time, even with a temporary deferment as a full-time student, was a socially ostracizing and potentially fatal decision.

After six weeks of training — as Jim Mattis was hearing around his college campus of Central Washington College — they put a rifle in your hands and sent you to the front of the line, walking the point, on patrol looking for a gunfight in the booby-trapped jungles of Vietnam.

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One might call this The legend of the Warrior Monk started 45 years ago when 18-year-old Jim Mattis signed up for the Marine’s Platoon Leaders Course (PLC).

He had often admired the challenge to excel offered by the Marine Corps.

In those days we had the draft, so there was little choice.

And then look around and see what else was out there. In Vietnam, the Tet Offensive had just killed 4,000 and wounded 6,000 American soldiers and Marines, so the American military was aggressively seeking new recruits to refill the ranks.

Mattis chose a path in life that has brought him repeatedly into mortal combat with the most barbaric evil of our time, Islamist terrorism.

Yet he continues to defeat it with insight, humor, fighting courage, and fierce compassion not only for his fellow Marines who volunteer to follow him through hell’s front door but also for the innocent victims of war.

His life was now out of classrooms and onto the rolling decks of warships.

In September, he deployed as part of the 31st Marine Amphibious Unit on a “float” to the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Okinawa, and Korea.

People perhaps mistake his ferocious aggression for a lack of discipline.

Anyone who has served with him will tell you just the opposite: As a field commander, he maintains strict discipline, even discipline, continually striving for “brilliance in the basics.” In his meticulous preparations for the untested “maneuver warfare” that was about to be used in the second Iraq War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, he created a scale model of the battlefield from the border of Kuwait to the objective, Baghdad. A week before the invasion began, he dressed representatives from the dozens of coalition military units in color-coded football jerseys and had them walk through the battle plan as he narrated the maneuvers over loudspeakers to the assembled field commanders.

At the end of this rehearsal, Mattis answered questions and then dismissed the group.

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