“Jim Mattis is a hometown hero and truly one of Washington’s most distinguished native sons,” said Rep. Newhouse. “His honorable military career, his commitment to our community, and his dedication to the United States serve an example for the people of Washington state and the nation. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure he is the next distinguished leader to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.”
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General James N. (Jim) Mattis was born in Pullman, Washington, and raised in Richland, Washington, graduating from Columbia High School in 1968. He began his military career the following year by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. In 1971, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Central Washington State College, and he earned a Master of Arts in International Security from National Defense University’s War College in 1994.
He was the first United States Marine Corps officer to command a Naval Task Force in Afghanistan following the attacks on September 11, 2001. He bravely commanded forces, including the U.S. Joint Forces Command, NATO’s Supreme Allied Command for Transformation, and U.S. Central Command. President Trump nominated General Mattis for United States Secretary of Defense, and he served honorably until December 31, 2018.
Since his retirement, he has been honored with several awards and commendations for his military and civilian service, including the Atlantic Council “Distinguished Military Leadership Award,” the Marine Corps University Foundation “Semper Fidelis Award,” the “Dwight D. Eisenhower Distinguished Service Award,” and the Washington Policy Center “Columbia Award.” He wrote about his military and leadership experience in the recently published book, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead.
Congressional Gold Medals have been bestowed upon great generals, leaders, and thinkers in our nation’s history, including but not limited to George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, Douglas MacArthur, and Harry S. Truman. In order to be considered, Congressional Gold Medal legislation must be cosponsored by at least two-thirds (290) of the Members of the House.