CALL SIGN CHAOS: Learning to Lead | Jim Mattis, Random House, 320p. Covering four decades of services as a U.S. Marine, General James Mattis’ memoirs provide a readable first-hand account of current events and a modern warrior's challenges. The tome’s title refers to his nickname, earned when, as a commander, it represents an acronym, “Colonel Has an Outstanding Solution.” The government does not love its acronym. Repeated themes are his respect for the country, our institutions, our founding document, and an almost obligatory homage to Lincoln. As a teenager, Mattis was a brawler. His fists led him to a brief stint in jail, putting him on the road to the Marines. In essence, it was a habit of adolescent fisticuffs that led to the office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Mattis blames then-Gen. Tommy Franks for Osama bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora and not then-President Bush. In the General’s mind, the President was doing what he ought to do: deferring to his commanders. Mattis states he’s “learned to love the Constitution,” but he can be forgiven for not being a Constitutional scholar or historian. It is a self-interested perspective for military leadership to pan for uncritical deference from civilian leaders. Thankfully, for our Union, this was not the habit of Lincoln due to a better understanding of the Constitution, the Fallacy of an Appeal to Authority, or merely a narcissistic gut. Mattis unloads on the Obama / Biden team for the failures in the Middle East and for what he sees as bad policy. He doesn’t care much for civilian leaders who rush - Bush for his speed towards Iraq and Obama for his speed to withdraw. In his view, Iran remains a preeminent foe and threat to the West and America in particular. Aside from his personal story and review of current events, one finishes Call Sign with a deeper understanding of the stress, professionalism, and sacrifice of America’s standing professional army.