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Mattis is back exactly where he left from before being secretary of defense

U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis honors the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C, Nov. 28, 2018. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)
August 08, 2019

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis has returned to aerospace and defense company General Dynamics this week.

General Dynamics’ board of directors voted to elect Mattis to be the company’s director once again, effective Wednesday, according to the company’s press release.

This is the second time Mattis, has served on the company’s board of directors. His previous term was during August 2013-January 2017.

“Jim is a thoughtful, deliberate and principled leader with a proven track record of selfless service to our nation,” said Phebe Novakovic, chairman and chief executive officer.  “We are honored to have him on our board.”

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General Dynamics is a leading defense company offering a wide range of products and services, including combat vehicles like the M1 Abrams, weapons systems and munitions, shipbuilding and repair, IT services, and more.

Last month, General Dynamics received an order for 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks from Taiwan, part of a $2 billion deal that also includes Hercules vehicles from BAE Systems and Heavy Equipment Transporters from Oshkosh, according to The Motley Fool.

Mattis has been serving as senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University since May, a post that he appears to be serving concurrently with his new director role.

Mattis’ work at Hoover was said to focus on “domestic and international security policy,” and involvement in “events and programs related to military and national security issues at Hoover’s campus in California and office in Washington, D.C.”

Mattis had previously served as an Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Hoover in 2013, then as a Davies Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow from 2015 until 2017.

He left both posts at General Dynamics and Hoover in January 2017 to become President Trump’s Secretary of Defense, a post he served until his resignation in December 2018.

Mattis’ retirement as defense secretary was announced after his resignation letter surfaced in online reports in December 2018.

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He wrote President Trump a letter saying, “because you have a right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours … I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.”

The letter came one day after Trump announced the full withdrawal of 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria and months of rumors of tensions between Trump and Mattis.

Mattis, 68, is a retired four-star Marine Corps general with a career spanning 43 years. He previously headed the U.S. Central Command overseeing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mattis was the most approved member of the Trump Administration and is hailed as one of the greatest military minds of our time.