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Mattis’ Comments on Flynn’s Resignation are the Epitome of Military Bearing | Opinion | American Grit 4.91/5 (55)

We’re less than a month into this new Presidency, and knee deep in drama. With headlines, concerns, and questions spinning from every social media site, it would be very easy to give into the hype, anger, distrust, and even outright terror, that many people are eschewing on a second-by-second basis.

But not Mattis.

The new Secretary of Defense was cool, calm, and fairly disinterested in former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s resignation on Monday; a move that caused a significant stir in the media and on both sides of the aisle. When asked for comment, he had only this to say:

“Here’s the bottom line, ladies and gentlemen. I’m brought in to be the secretary of defense. I give the president advice on the use of military force. I maintain good relations, strong relations — some of you were out with me in the Pacific — and so military-to-military relations with other ministries of defense around the world. And frankly, this has no impact. Obviously, I haven’t changed what I’m heading there for. It doesn’t change my message at all. And who’s on the president’s staff is who I will work with.”

In other words, “Not my boot. Not my problem.”

It’s this laser focus on the job and realistic outlook that should be expected of all public officials. The ability to remain calm when everyone else around you is giving in to fear is what makes the difference between modern “professionalism” and military bearing. It’s what will make a difference in the up-to-the-moment, first-before-facts, sensationalized stories that the public is fed. It will keep the correct priorities in place when it comes to national security and foreign policy. Ultimately, it keeps America safer.

This is not to say that the circumstances surrounding Flynn’s resignation are not concerning; they are. Period. But just because something is concerning does not mean that people need to outwardly lose their heads and forget the very real priorities of their positions. React when you need to react. Choose to remain calm. And move forward with your mission.

In the new political climate of 3 AM tweets and knee-jerk attacks, sober heads must prevail to get the job done.

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Sylvia Gaenzle

Sylvia Gaenzle

Sylvia is the storyteller-in-chief at American Grit, with over 200 articles written and 1,000 edited. A photographer, videographer, and avid reader, she believes that stories are the most powerful way to inspire, educate, and motivate others.