President-elect Donald Trump tapped retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as his secretary of defense on Thursday, saying Mattis is “the closest thing we have to Gen. George Patton.”
Trump’s comparison came during his first “Thank You Tour” event in Ohio on Thursday night.
“We are going to appoint ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as our secretary of defense,” Trump announced. “Mad Dog. He’s great.”
Patton’s PBS biography describes him as “one of the ablest and most controversial U.S. commanders in World War II.” He died in 1945.
Mattis, who is 66 years old, would be the first ranking general to become secretary of defense since George Marshall, according to the New York Times. Mattis needs a congressional waiver to take the post, but the New York Times reports that he has “strong support in Congress.”
Mattis oversaw military operations from 2010 to 2013 in Southwest Asia and the Middle East. He retired in 2013 from the Marines.