Politics

Mattis Delivers Final Message To Military: ‘Keep The Faith In Our Country’

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Defense Secretary James Mattis delivered a final message to the military Monday before he transfers authority to his deputy Patrick Shanahan.

In his farewell address, Mattis told his fellow Department of Defense employees to “keep the faith in our country and hold fast, alongside our allies, aligned against our foes.”

Mattis announced his resignation Dec. 20 after clashing with President Donald Trump over his decision to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria. He will hand down his position to Shanahan later Monday around midnight in a phone call. (RELATED: Obama’s Syria Ambassador Backs Trump’s Decision)

Mattis told his fellow members of the military in a letter that “our department is proven to be at its best when the times are most difficult.”

“It has been my high honor to serve at your side. May God hold you safe on the air, on land, and at sea,” Mattis wrote.

The defense secretary planned to stay in the role through February, but days after his resignation, Trump ordered him to leave on Jan. 1.

Mattis’ resignation letter was seen as rebuke to Trump’s foreign policy objectives. “[Y]ou have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects,” he wrote.

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