Gen. Mattis has commanded at multiple levels. As a lieutenant, he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander in the 3rd Marine Division. As a captain, he commanded a rifle company and a weapons company in the 1st Marine Brigade.
As a major, he commanded Recruiting Station Portland. As a lieutenant colonel, he commanded 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, one of Task Force Ripper's assault battalions in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. As a colonel, he commanded 7th Marines (Reinforced) and served as the Executive Secretary to the Department of Defense.
Upon becoming a brigadier general, he served as the Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. He commanded the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Task Force 58 during Operation Enduring Freedom in southern Afghanistan. As a major general, he commanded the 1st Marine Division during the initial attack and subsequent stability operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In his first tour as a lieutenant general, he commanded the Marine Corps Combat Development Command while serving as the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development. He next commanded the I Marine Expeditionary Force and served as the Commander of U.S. Marine Forces Central Command. He served as both NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation from 2007-2009 and as Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command from 2007-2010. He was confirmed as the Commander of U.S. Central Command in August 2010 where he served until his departure in March 2013.
Gen. Mattis, a native of the Pacific Northwest, graduated from Central Washington State University in 1972. He is also a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the National War College.
- Edmund S. Muskie Distinguished Public Service Award, 2009
- World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads “Ryan C. Crocker Global Citizen of the Year” Award, 2013.
- Marine Corps University Foundation Semper Fidelis Award, 2014
- George Washington College honorary doctor of laws degree, 2014
- Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Hoover Institution, Stanford University
- Member of the General Dynamics Board of Directors
- Interviewed by Wolf Blitzer, Aspen Security Forum, July, 2013
- U.S. Global Leadership Conference, Richmond VA Jan, 2014
- Jamestown Foundation Terrorism Conference, Washington DC, Dec, 2013
- Australian Joint Forces Conference, Canberra Australia Nov, 2013
- Foreign Policy Research Institute, Philadelphia PA Nov, 2013
- Presentation to Goldman-Sachs leadership, New York City, Oct, 2013
- Dartmouth College, Dickey Center (Guest Lecturer), Hanover NH, Sep, 2013
- NATO Chiefs of Defense Conference, Budapest Hungary Sep, 2013