Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis got married over the weekend in a Las Vegas ceremony officiated by an Elvis impersonator.
After more than 40 years in the United States Marine Corps and serving as former President Donald Trump’s first Secretary of Defense, Mattis, 71, married physicist and tech entrepreneur Christina Lomasney, who works in Richland, Wash. at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, according to The Washington Times.
The couple had two ceremonies — one on the bank of the Columbia River with a priest, and another at the Little Church of the West in Las Vegas with an Elvis impersonator, according to Politico.
The outlet also reported that the Marine and his new wife met at a bar, and Retired Gen. Robert Harward was Mattis’ best man. A reception was held at The Palazzo at Rosina.
Brian Mills, the Elvis impersonator who officiated the wedding, said Las Vegas will likely host 80,000 weddings this year alone.
“Many of them aren’t Marines,” he wrote in a Twitter message, adding that Gen. Mattis was “one of the happiest [grooms] I’ve had in 20 years, though.”
Many veterans reacted to the news of Mattis’ surprise nuptial on Twitter, including Marine Corps infantry veteran and New York Times bestselling author Maximilian Uriarte, who called the wedding “very on-brand” for a Marine Corps veteran.
“Mattis getting married in Vegas over the weekend is some very on-brand Marine Corps shit,” he wrote.
“Met in a bar. Married in Vegas. With Elvis. ONE OF US! ONE OF US!” Task & Purpose quipped.
Another Twitter user wrote that Mattis “got married in the most Marine way possible.”
Last year, Mattis helped dedicate a new veterans memorial and leadership library named in his honor at the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus.
“For me to be here, frankly, back in my hometown and recognizing veterans, is because I owe them so much,” Mattis said at the time, according to WSU Insider. “I have a debt that I owe that I can never fully repay. We all owe them a debt for the freedom we are enjoying right now.”
“The epitome of leading, lies in serving others,” he continued, adding, “Forget all of the leadership theory that you read at business school.”
Mattis told reporters after the event that a strong leader can determine how an organizations performs and that the challenges leaders face are timeless.
“Life is too short to learn everything by experience,” Mattis told reporters after the event. “In these books we can find situations that are similar to what we confront today. … We can study how women and men in the past have dealt with situations successfully or unsuccessfully.”