In 2016, the U.S. Marine Corps took questions and presented them to then General, now Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Mattis served in the United States Marine Corps from 1969 to 2013. During this time, he was the 11th Commander of United States Central Command (CENTCOM).
Knife hands are legendary in the Marine Corp with an array of uses from purely directional, to administrative, to showing levels of anger, to the feared chop seen below.
The questions that Mattis answered, and the time in the video that he answered them, are below, along with the video interview.
0:08 – What is the toughest decision you had to make while in the Marine Corps and did you ever regret your decision?
2:25 – How did you stay motivated throughout your Marine Corps career?
3:27 – How do you keep improving as a leader to meet the demand of each role in your career?
5:53 – There was a cold night in Afghanistan when you were walking the perimeter by yourself, greeting a bunch of young Marines. What were you thinking about?
7:16 – What is the one leadership lesson that you learned as a General grade officer that you wish you had known your whole career?
10:18 – What leadership books do you recommend?
11:55 – What did you look for in your NCOs and how should the relationship between an NCO and an officer compliment each other?
13:58 – What, in your opinion, is the most important leadership trait and why?
15:33 – What is the kill-casualty radius of the knife hand?