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Must Read: Mattis Sends Powerful Farewell Message On Last Day In Office

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There have been a lot of rumors and speculation being floated since news broke that Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis was exiting his role as secretary of defense.

Mattis had huge support from both sides of the aisle when he was first nominated for the position.

He made clear in his resignation letter that he had some disagreement with President Donald Trump over certain decisions. To some this reflected badly on Mattis, but to others it was an honorable thing for him to leave so someone who was on the same page with the commander in chief could serve him better.

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Any question about the man’s honor and integrity may be put to rest with his leaked final farewell message to Department of Defense employees. A class act to the end, Mattis did not bash the current administration but offered words of encouragement to the federal workers.

Those powerful words, now leaked, could apply to more than workers he was specifically addressing. Americans everywhere can also find encouragement and hope in his parting message.

Mattis quoted a Civil War telegram from President Abraham Lincoln to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was in his message.

The brief statement began with that quote: “Let nothing which is transpiring, change, hinder, or delay your military movements, or plans.”

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He then offered his own words of encouragement.

“Our Department’s leadership, civilian and military, remains in the best possible hands. I am confident that each of you remains undistracted from our sworn mission to support and defend the Constitution while protecting our way of life.”

“Our Department is proven to be at its best when the times are most difficult. So keep the faith in our country and hold fast, alongside our allies, aligned against our foes.”

See the entire memo here:

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His words were the polar opposite of those of outgoing President Barack Obama, who told troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida to “speak your mind and protest against” authority. He also spoke to them about their right to “criticize a president without retribution,” which could be taken as encouragement to speak out against then-incoming President Donald Trump.

In Mattis’s resignation letter he vowed to do all he could to make it a smooth transition for all involved

“I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.”

His farewell message to the members of the DOD showed that commitment in action. In his resignation, Mattis spoke of waiting until February to leave so there would be sufficient time for the administration to do their part in replacing him.

Initially, Trump echoed Mattis’ leave date. But later that changed.

Over the next several days, Trump tweeted in response to Mattis’ resignation letter statement about our allies. Mattis had said “My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues.”

Trump also tweeted about the temporary replacement for Mattis. He added that Mattis would be out at the end of the year and not February, as well.

Mattis’ final memo showed no ill will toward the president, nor did he encourage federal employees to rebel against or “criticize” the president.

His words were encouraging and hopeful. He spoke of DOD employees staying focused on doing their jobs and serving the public, despite any “distractions.”

Regardless of how he may have felt, Mattis remained steadfast in acting with integrity. And that is one of the qualities many have admired in him.

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