THE PENTAGON – Retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis has made it clear that he is in fact no one’s secretary.
In an effort to better align the title of his office with the duties and obligations he executes, sources say that Mattis will unilaterally change his title from Secretary of Defense to First Lord of Destruction.
One senior defense official said that other titles considered were Purveyor of Devastation and America’s Mighty Hammer of Righteousness. However, First Lord of Destruction had a nice “Marine Corps meets Sith Lord” kind of ring to it, the source said.
“If any of you sons of bitches calls me secretary, I’ll punch you right in the throat,” Mattis told members of the press in a recent briefing.
“I’ll call him whatever he wants,” one visibly shaken undersecretary of defense told reporters, on condition of anonymity. “Just as long as he doesn’t hurt me again. I called him Mr. Secretary once and he punched me right in the throat.”
Meanwhile, Mattis has also criticized others in the administration for what he refers to as “pansy” titles, such as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Joe Dunford.
“Chairman?” Mattis asked rhetorically during a White House meeting, according to an administration source. “Boring! How about Peerless Leader of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse?”
In a policy memo, Mattis has also issued guidance that calls for moving his office out of the Pentagon, which he has labeled the Five-Side Funhouse, to a more fitting location. The USS Wisconsin, a retired World War II battleship, is being moved from its current home in Norfolk to the Potomac and will serve as his combination office and throne room, officials said.
Others are hopeful that he will soon move his office to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue just as soon as the main office there becomes vacant.