Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead by General Jim Mattis

Jim Mattis the author of Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead is a Pacific Northwest native who served more than four decades as a Marine infantry officer. Following two years as the Secretary of Defense, he returned to the Northwest and is now the Davies Family Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Jim Mattis was described by his peers as a “warrior monk” who embraced the Clausewitzian view of war as a political instrument. He established the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning, a training academy for marine officers and senior enlisted personnel, to instill cultural awareness and language skills, and he emphasized the “hearts and minds” approach to counterinsurgency operations.

Jim Mattis  with the help of Bing West wrote Call Sign Chaos, a memoir of lifelong learning, following along as Mattis rises from Marine recruit to four-star general. It is a journey learning to lead and a story about how he, through constant study and action, developed a unique leadership philosophy that is relevant to us all. Gen. Mattis comes across as plain-spoken and reflective, a fan of books and history. Abraham Lincoln and Gettysburg receive their due. As a younger man, however, Mattis was not above brawling. In other words, he’s interesting. He repeatedly expresses his regard for America’s institutions and its constitution even as he offers criticism, one thing which sets him apart from the 45th president. It contains veiled disapproval of Trump and is sharper in expressing disagreements with his Oval Office predecessors. I found this book as a great read and should be read by everyone.


Author: Kelly Price

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