Mattis Kills It At His Confirmation Hearing!

…the people you meet “over there.”

I had the pleasure of meeting briefly with General Mattis in Kabul in 2010.  I was temporarily in charge of NTMA’s Joint Visitor’s Bureau at Camp Eggers.  There was an opening for a deputy commander in the Regional Support Command North and I was waiting for my replacement.  General Mattis came in for a VIP visit.  I was of course familiar with who he was.  I was also interested in a member of his entourage.  Author Steven Pressfield filled the roll of civilian advisor to General Mattis.  And yes, I got Pressfield to sign the book I had read on the plane ride over.

General Mattis

General Mattis Testifies Before The Senate Armed Services Committee.

Mattis impressed me again today with his plain-spoken testimony, taking complex systems and breaking them down in a way that even I can understand.

Mattis is a master of language and social cues.  This is of course true of most people at that level.  He does manage to make you feel like you are the only one in the room.  In our brief meeting, he asked for a brief auto-biography, civilian occupation, and my thoughts of our mission.  I was guarded, of course.  I was not about to be put completely at ease in the presence of a four-star general.  Never-the-less, he is quite disarming, I have to give him that.

Steven Pressfield and Phil Christensen Camp Eggers, 2010

Steven Pressfield, best-selling author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, and The Afghan Campaign, stands with LTC Phil Christensen, Camp Eggers, Kabul, 2010.

Two weeks later, I was on a plane heading to Mazer i-Sharif to take up my new assignment.  Good times, good times…

About Phil Christensen

The trail behind me is littered with failure. The trail before me remains to be seen.
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