A former Marine who served with Secretary of Defense James Mattis and White House chief of staff John Kelly had a special message he wanted to deliver to President Donald Trump during a jobs event on Thursday.
Trump invited numerous leaders from some of America’s top companies and business associations to the White House for a “Pledge to America’s Workers” event.
Among them was Microsoft vice president of military affairs Chris Cortez, who served in the Marines for over 30 years, reaching the rank of major general.
He is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and was director of operations for the United States Pacific Command.
Cortez told Trump at Thursday’s jobs event, “Mr. President, on behalf of Microsoft — 10,000 opportunities — I’m really proud to be their representative.”
The retired general then lowered the mic and added in a hushed tone, “I served 33 years in the Marines.”
“Whoa, that’s fantastic,” the president responded.
“I served with John Kelly and Jim Mattis,” Cortez continued, “and you got two good ones.”
Trump shook Cortez’s hand saying, “Very good. You’re right. They’re great. They’re great. Thank you very much. Thank you.”
Kelly enlisted in the Marines in 1970 and later left the Corps to attend college, only to return and be commissioned as an officer in 1976.
He deployed to Iraq as commander of the I Marine Expeditionary Force in 2008. He went on to head the U.S. Southern Command.
Mattis enlisted in the Marines in 1969 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1971.
In 1991, he led an infantry battalion in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. In 2002, Mattis commanded an expeditionary brigade in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
He would go to lead a Marine Division in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and led all U.S. Marine Forces in the Middle East as commander of the I Marine Expeditionary Force and U.S. Marine Forces Central Command.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich touted the bonafides of Trump’s team in an appearance on Fox News on Thursday, responding to the controversy over Trump’s Helsinki Summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week.
“You don’t get guys like Secretary of State Pompeo who graduated first in his class at West Point, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, 4-star Marine general, chief of staff John Kelly, 4-star Marine general, national security adviser John Bolton, one toughest guys on foreign policy in the entire country,” said Gingrich.
“These guys aren’t going to get together and to drink the Kool-Aid either that the North Korean dictator or the Russian dictator are nice guys.”
The former Speaker added, “Trump is a guy who likes to be friendly, who likes to be positive, but he didn’t get to be a billionaire by being stupid.”
Thursday’s Pledge to America’s Workers brought together more than 20 business leaders from a wide range of sectors who signed the pledge to train and to hire hundreds of thousands of new employees.
“There’s never been a better time to hire and grow in America,” Trump said. “We’ve created 3.7 million jobs since the election. In the month of June alone, we grew the workforce by more than 600,000 workers.”
“We’re in the longest positive job growth streak in American history.”
Let’s keep those jobs coming!