Brian Stann

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Brian Stann, born in Tokyo, Japan at Yokota Air Base, on September 24, 1980.  He grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania and graduated from  Scranton Prep School.  After graduation he attended the Naval Academy, where he played football for team Navy.

Graduating in 2003 he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps and became an infantry officer, serving with the “Betio Bastards” of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  In May 2005, during Operation Matador (the Battle of Al Qaim), Lieutenant Stann and his mobile assault platoon were ambushed by insurgents when they tried to secure the Ramana Bridge.  Stann and his Marines stuck it out for six days under heavy attack, while coordinating air and tank support that allowed them to be relieved on May 14, 2005.  All 42 Marines in Stann’s platoon survived and his actions during that battle earned him the Silver Star.

In 2006, while still on active duty, Stann started pursing a career in mixed martial arts.  He attributes his success in mixed martial arts to the foundation he learned while obtain a 3rd degree black belt at the Marine Corps Martial Arts Center for Excellence in Quantico, Virginia and the explosiveness and powerlifting exercises he learned while playing football.

In May 2008, Stann left active duty with the rank of Captain and pursued MMA full time.

Stann has a total of 12 wins and 6 losses in his MMA career.  On July 11, 2013, Stann announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.

In 2009, Brian started Hire Heroes USA and is President and Chief Executive Officer of the non-profit  premier transition and employment assistance organization for veterans & their spouses with a passion for service and supporting our nation’s military.

In 2010, Stann wrote Heart for the Fight: A Marine Hero’s Journey from the Battlefields of Iraq to Mixed Martial Arts Championdetailing his experiences growing up in Scranton, PA, playing football for the U.S. Naval Academy, serving as a Marine in Iraq, and becoming a WEC Light Heavyweight Champion.

Stann also became an analyst, providing in fight commentary, for the UFC post show in 2012.

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George Jones

george-jones-devil-dogGeorge Jones 

Born in Saratoga, Texas, on September 12, 1931, George grew up in Colmesneil, Texas.   He first heard country music when his parents bought a radio and he listed to it while lying on their bed, at the age of seven.   He was given his first guitar at the age of nine.  He left home at 16 and went to Jasper, Texas to sing and play on the KTXJ radio station with fellow musician Dalton Henderson.

Jones enlisted into the Marine Corps in 1951 and served for three years, he was stationed in San Jose, California for his entire enlistment, during the Korean War.

He made his first record when he got out, called “No Money in This Deal.”

Jones died on April 26, 2013, at the age of 81, from hypoxic respiratory failure. During his career, Jones had more than 150 hits, both as a solo artist and in duets with other artists.

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James Mattis

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The modern day legend, James “Mad Dog” Mattis; call sign ‘Chaos’, was born in Pullman, Washington on September 8, 1950.  Mattis graduated from Columbia High School in Richland, Washington, in 1968 and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1969.  He later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Central Washington University and was commissioned a second lieutenant through ROTC on January 1, 1972.  Mattis was considered an intellectual among the higher ranking officer, his personal library has more than seven thousand volumes.  He was known to carry a copy of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius on his deployments.

As a lieutenant, he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander with 3rd Marine Division.  As a captain, he was assigned as the Naval Academy Preparatory School’s Battalion Officer, commanded rifle and weapons companies with 1st Marine Regiment and then served as the commanding officer for Recruiting Station Portland, Oregon, as a major.

Upon promotion to lieutenant colonel, Mattis commanded 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, which was one of Task Force Ripper’s assault battalions during the Gulf War.

As a colonel, Mattis commanded 7th Marine Regiment and led the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade as its commanding officer upon promotion to brigadier general.  During the initial planning for the War in Afghanistan, Mattis led Task Force 58 in operations in the southern part of Afghanistan, becoming the first Marine officer to ever command a Naval Task Force in combat.

While serving in Afghanistan as a brigadier general, he was known as an officer who engaged his marines with “real leadership”.  Mattis was witnessed in a fighting hole talking with a sergeant and a lance corporal, in the freezing night, out on the front lines with his marines.

In 1998, the commandant, general Charles Krulak, was delivering cookies to every Marine duty post in Washington and Quantico on Christmas day.  He made a delivery to the Marine Corps Combat Development Command headquarters and the Marine on duty said the officer of the day was lieutenant general Mattis.  In disbelief he repeated the question several times, then he saw Mattis and asked him why he was on duty on Christmas.

Mattis said, “Sir, I looked at the duty roster for today and there was a young major who had it who is married and has a family; and so I’m a bachelor, I thought why should the major miss out on the fun of having Christmas with his family, and so I took the duty for him.” Krulak said he had never run into a general officer, before or after, who stood duty on Christmas Day.

As a major general, Mattis commanded the 1st Marine Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent stability operations during the Iraq War. Mattis played key roles in combat operations in Fallujah, including negotiation with the insurgent command inside of the city during Operation Vigilant Resolve in April 2004, as well as participation in planning of the subsequent Operation Phantom Fury in November.

In 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Mattis to the rank of general to command the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia.  In 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Mattis to replace David Petraeus as commander of the United States Central Command.  However, the Obama administration thought Mattis was too eager for confrontation with Iran and he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way because he forced them to answer tough questions regarding Iran.  This resulted in Obama forcing the beloved General Mattis to retire early, in 2013.

Mattis’ name kept appearing in conversations about the 2016 presidential election. His supporters hoped the four-star general would run for the Republican nomination. Then his name was being floated around as a possible option if the Republican convention was being contested.  Supporters of Donald Trump were hoping that Trump might name Mattis as his vice president.  Others were hopping Mattis would run as a third party candidate.  He has stated that he wasn’t interested in being President because he didn’t have a broad enough perspective, and it was time for younger veterans to run for office.

Mattis’ long and distinguished military career didn’t leave much time for a personal life.  He never married and has no children.  His dedication to service and scholarly pursuits earned him the nickname “Warrior Monk.”  He devoted his time to studying war, including being able to quote Sun Tzu, Ulysses S. Grant, George Patton, Shakespeare, and the Bible.

General Mattis is an inspirational leader of men and his powerful words will go down in history.  Here are some of the best quotes that “Mad Dog” will be remembered for:

“I don’t lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word.”

“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”

“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”

“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.”

“Marines don’t know how to spell the word defeat.”

 “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

“The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.”

“You are part of the world’s most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.”

“There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, cunning, obedience and alertness, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.”

“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.”

 “There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It’s really great.”

 “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.”

 “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 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 up there with you. I like brawling.”

 “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.”

 “Demonstrate to the world there is ‘No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy’ than a U.S. Marine.”

“Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit”

“Every time you wave at an Iraqi civilian, al-Qaeda rolls over in its grave.”

“The U.S. is suffering “strategic atrophy” under Obama’s leadership.” 

“I’ve lived a very colorful life and I’ve said some things. But not once have I taken them back, and I’ve never apologized for them — and I won’t. I like the enemy knowing there are a few guys like me around.”

Since retirement, Mattis has worked for FWA Consultants and is an Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He also serves as a member the board of directors for General Dynamics and a board member of Theranos, a Silicon Valley biotech company.  General Mattis was hand selected by President Donald Trump to become the 26th Secretary of Defense.

You can read more about General Mattis’ leadership in the book: The Mattis Way of War: An Examination of Operational Art in Task Force 58 and 1st Marine Division.

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