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President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Thursday night kicked off their "USA Thank You Tour 2016" of the Midwestern states that helped propel their ticket to victory.

During his 45-minute address at at Cincinnati's U.S. Bank Arena, Trump revealed that he's going to appoint retired Marine Gen. James Mattis for defense secretary.

"We are going to appoint 'Mad Dog' Mattis as our secretary of defense," Trump said to cheers from the crowd.

He praised Mattis as "our best " and "the closest thing to Gen. George Patton that we have."

If approved, Mattis would be the highest-ranking officer to become defense secretary in more than half a century.

FoxNews.com reported:

Mattis succeeded David Petraeus as commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees all military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has field commander experience in Afghanistan and both U.S. wars in Iraq, and retired in 2013.


Known as "Mad Dog Mattis," the retired general was credited with a string of colorful quotes over the years, including: "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."

Also: "You are part of the world's most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon."

Watch Trump's announcement above.

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