#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A clear-eyed account of learning how to lead in a chaotic world, by General Jim Mattis—the former Secretary of Defense and one of the most formidable strategic thinkers of our time—and Bing West, a former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine.
Call Sign Chaos is the account of Jim Mattis’s storied career, from wide-ranging leadership roles in three wars to ultimately commanding a quarter of a million troops across the Middle East. Along the way, Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he has learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas—and short-sighted thinking—now facing our nation. He makes it clear why America must return to a strategic footing so as not to continue winning battles but fighting inconclusive wars.
Mattis divides his book into three parts: Direct Leadership, Executive Leadership, and Strategic Leadership. In the first part, Mattis recalls his early experiences leading Marines into battle, when he knew his troops as well as his own brothers. In the second part, he explores what it means to command thousands of troops and how to adapt your leadership style to ensure your intent is understood by your most junior troops so that they can own their mission. In the third part, Mattis describes the challenges and techniques of leadership at the strategic level, where military leaders reconcile war’s grim realities with political leaders’ human aspirations, where complexity reigns and the consequences of imprudence are severe, even catastrophic.
Call Sign Chaos is a memoir of a life of warfighting and lifelong learning, following along as Mattis rises from Marine recruit to four-star general. It is a journey about learning to lead and a story about how he, through constant study and action, developed a unique leadership philosophy, one relevant to us all.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Jim Mattis 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.
Bing West has written ten books about combat. He served as a Marine grunt in Vietnam and later as an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. He has been on hundreds of patrols in Iraq and Afghanistan, including many operations with General Mattis. He is a member of the Military History Working Group at the Hoover Institution. He lives with his wife, Betsy, in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Newport, Rhode Island.
Table of Contents
Part I Direct Leadership
Chapter 1 A Carefree Youth Joins the Disciplined Marines 3
Chapter 2 Recruit for Attitude, Train for Skill 15
Chapter 3 Battle 20
Chapter 4 Broadening 39
Chapter 5 Rhino 50
Part II Executive Leadership
Chapter 6 The March Up 79
Chapter 7 A Division In Its Prime 103
Chapter 8 Incoherence 115
Chapter 9 Cascading Consequences 137
Chapter 10 Fighting While Transforming 148
Chapter 11 Hold the Line 158
Chapter 12 Essential NATO 169
Chapter 13 Disbanding Bureaucracy 178
Part III Strategic Leadership
Chapter 14 Central Command: The Trigonometry Level of Warfare 189
Chapter 15 Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory 205
Chapter 16 Friend or Foe 221
Chapter 17 Reflections 235
Epilogue: America as Its Own Ally 248
Appendix A My Letter to General Robert Johnston, October 1991 251
Appendix B Jim Mattis on Reading 256
Appendix C Correspondence Between General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral William Halsey, 1943 260
Appendix D To the Families of Our Sailors and Marines Deploying to the Middle East, February 2004 262
Appendix E My Dismissal of Charges Letter for Haditha Incident, August 2007 263
Appendix F President George W. Bush's Assignment Letter for NATO Supreme Command, September 2007 266
Appendix G My USJFCOM Commander's Guidance for Effects Based Operations, August 2008 267
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
i found this more interesting to read than some of the recent books by high ranking officers/officials,from an organizational and leadership perspective. So very discouraging to have years of information brought back to memory, and see the other side. Worthwhile reading!
incredibly written well thought and reasoned treatise on life let alone war
leadership done right is plain hard work. Simply stated, identifying the achievable end, and then getting out of the way. He does that here while ensuring that his subordinates have all the resources necessary to carry out the mission. He is indeed The Splendid Warrior.
One of the best books I have read in a long while.
I really enjoyed this read. Some of the book maybe a little hard to follow, for some who haven't served. It leadership principles can be use by all people in any walk of life.
Time is a precious commodity, one that is easily wasted on the ephemera of "everyday living", or used to the advantage of those who choose to learn. Jim Mattis sagely advises that mankind has been fighting for over 5000 years, so pretending that whatever battle you face - regardless of your environment - has never been fought before is foolish (at best) and potentially lethal (at worst). "The best," it is said. "learn from the best." Mattis has. You will, too.
I took my time reading this in order to properly digest it. It is a must-read a not just for those of a military bent. GEN Mattis remains not just a military man but an academic who has immersed himself in history, etc. over his decades of service. My previous experience was that the best instructors and leaders in the military were men like him. He is also of the highest moral and ethical fiber. A win-win! I wish him a long life so that he can continue to pass on valuable lessons and not just to military types. We don't have enough men like him today. Just look at what our schools are producing.
This is a great book. Teaches so many lessons on leadership and how to be a good leader (especially in the military). Mattis does a great Job of using past wars all the way back to ancient times by showing us how it is so important to learn from past leaders and wars in order to be a better leader and person in todays society and military. Awesome book. Get the book.
This is a great read, while subtitled “Learning to Lead” it is offered up in vivid autobiographical form and pauses to underscore a lesson for leaders at three levels; direct, executive and strategic levels. You will be surprised that in many of the key Middle East flashpoints of the last 40 years James Mattis as a junior office, Battalion Commander, Division Commander and multi-national Central Command Commander was in the key command positions. While not expressing partisan positions for either Republican or Democrat Administrations he delivers reliable commentary on the commendable and lamentable consequences of elected political and superior ranking officers on his own way to the top. For anyone looking for a sober review of the US military’s performance over the last 40 years I can’t think of a better primer and stimulator of serious reflection.