65 Jim Mattis Quotes On Success In Life

James Norman Mattis is a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general who served as the 26th US secretary of defense from January 2017 to January 2019. During his 44 years in the Marine Corps, he commanded forces in the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. These Jim Mattis quotes will motivate you.

Best Jim Mattis Quotes

  1. “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” ~ James Mattis
  2. “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
  3. “The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.” ~ James Mattis
  4. “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.” ~ James Mattis
  5. “Nothing keeps me awake at night. I keep other people awake at night.” ~ James Mattis

  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.” ~ James Mattis
  7. “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. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually, it’s a lot of fun to fight. 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
  8. “There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline…you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.” ~ James Mattis

  9. “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
  10. “You are part of the world’s most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.” ~ James Mattis
  11. “In this age, I don’t care how tactically or operationally brilliant you are, if you cannot create harmony – even vicious harmony – on the battlefield based on trust across service lines, across coalition and national lines, and across civilian/military lines, you need to go home, because your leadership is obsolete. We have got to have officers who can create harmony across all those lines.” ~ James Mattis
  12. “PowerPoint makes us stupid.” ~ James Mattis

  13. “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.” ~ James Mattis.
  14. “I don’t lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word.” ~ James Mattis
  15. “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.” ~ James Mattis
  16. “There are some people who think you have to hate them in order to shoot them. I don’t think you do. It’s just business.” ~ James Mattis
  17. “Demonstrate to the world there is “No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy” than a U.S. Marine.” ~ James Mattis

  18. “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
  19. “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
  20. “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
  21. “There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It’s really great.” ~ James Mattis

  22. “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
  23. “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
  24. “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
  25. “Be the hunter, not the hunted: Never allow your unit to be caught with its guard down.” ~ James Mattis

  26. “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
  27. “An untrained or uneducated Marine … deployed to the combat zone is a bigger threat to mission accomplishment … than the enemy.” ~ Jim Mattis Quotes
  28. “When you’re in operations, the best thing you can do at the top level is get the strategy right. You have to get the big ideas right, you have to determine what is the policy, what is the level of effort you’re willing to commit to it? And then you delegate to those who have to execute that strategy to the appropriate level. What’s the appropriate level? It’s the level where people are trained and equipped to take decisions so we move swiftly against the enemy.” ~ James Mattis
  29. “Ultimately, a real understanding of history means that we face NOTHING new under the sun.” ~ James Mattis

  30. “It is mostly a matter of wills. Whose will is going to break first? Ours or the enemy’s?” ~ James Mattis
  31. “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.” ~ James Mattis
  32. “There is no corporation in the world that would, in a competitive environment, try and concentrate all decisions at the corporate level.” ~ James Mattis
  33. “A country that armed Stalin to defeat Hitler can certainly work alongside enemies of al-Qaida to defeat al-Qaida.” ~ James Mattis
  34. “We can kill lots of people. We do kill lots of people. We can destroy virtually anything we choose to destroy.” ~ James Mattis

  35. “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, that sort of thing.” ~ James Mattis
  36. “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
  37. “The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event.” ~ James Mattis

  38. “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
  39. “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
  40. “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
  41. “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
  42. “In a country with millions of people & cars going everywhere, the enemy is going to get a car bomb out there once in a while.” ~ James Mattis

  43. “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
  44. “I’m from the American West. We have forest fires out there. And some of the worst forest fires in our history, the most damage were caused when we pulled the fire crews off the line too early. And so we’re going to have to continue to keep the pressure on the enemy – ISIS. There’s no room for complacency on this.” ~ Jim Mattis Quotes
  45. “Our world is becoming darker. The dangers are increasing from North Korea, whose recent provocation underscored the need to impose a higher price on this rogue regime, a problem that is not just the United States alone, but a problem for us all.” ~ James Mattis
  46. “I don’t see lethality as the problem. I mean, the lethality of US forces is quite remarkable.” ~ James Mattis

  47. “I think as we look at this problem of ISIS, it’s more than just an army. It’s also a fight about ideas. And we have got to dry up their recruiting. We have got to dry up their fundraising. The way we intend to do it is to humiliate them, to divorce them from any nation giving them protection, and humiliating their message of hatred, of violence. Anyone who kills women and children is not devout. They have – they cannot dress themselves up in false religious garb and say that somehow this message has dignity.” ~ James Mattis
  48. “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
  49. “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
  50. “Our strategy right now is to accelerate the campaign against ISIS. It is a threat to all civilized nations.” ~ James Mattis

  51. “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
  52. “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 upfront with you, I like brawling.” ~ James Mattis
  53. “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
  54. “We are going to have to continue to keep the pressure on the enemy. There is no room for complacency on this.” ~ James Mattis
  55. “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
  56. “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

  57. “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
  58. “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
  59. “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
  60. “I can’t imagine that I would be asked that by the president-elect [Donald Trump], or then-president [Barack Obama]. But it’s – I’m very clear. I voted for the change that put the Army Field Manual in place as a member of Congress. I understand that law very, very quickly and am also deeply aware that any changes to that will come through Congress and the president.” ~ James Mattis
  61. “We have the most skillful, fiercest, 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

  62. “Once ISIS is defeated, there is a larger effort underway to make certain that we don’t just sprout a new enemy. We know ISIS is going to go down. We have had success on the battlefield. We have freed millions of people from being under their control.” ~ James Mattis
  63. “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
  64. “Actually, it’s a lot of fun to fight. You know, it’s a hell of a hoot.” ~ James Mattis
  65. “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

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