WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President-elect Donald Trump Thursday nominated retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as his secretary of defense.

Born on Sept. 8, 1950 in Pullman Washington, Mattis was enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1969, and was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps in 1972.

Mattis was promoted through the ranks during his service in the First Gulf War, the Afghanistan War and the Second Gulf War.

In 2007, Mattis was officially lifted to the rank of general to command the U.S. Joint Forces Command, and in 2010, he replaced David Petraeus as the commander of the U.S. Central Command.

Mattis retired from the military in 2013 after bumpy relationship with Obama caused by dividing views on the U.S. role in Afghanistan and how the United States should deal with Iran.

Mattis has been fiercely against withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, saying Washington cannot unilaterally claim an end to the campaign, and that its adversary, the Taliban, also has a say.

As an advocate for a military strategy that places more focus on the Navy, Mattis said in a Senate hearing in 2015 that more money should be allocated to building warships.

Mattis is known to be a scholarly figure among the U.S. top brass, famously taking along a copy of Meditations by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

A bachelor all his life, Mattis earned the nickname "Warrior Monk" and "Mad Dog" for his tough talk and battlefield experience.