FAYETTEVILLE, NC — President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday officially announced plans to nominate retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as Defense Secretary, touting him as a man who "plays no games."

Mattis, Trump declared, is "the living embodiment of the Marine Corps motto semper fidelis, always faithful. And the American people are fortunate a man of this character and integrity will now be the civilian leader atop of the Department of Defense."

Mattis stood alongside Trump as he made the announcement and was met with scattered dog barks from a favorable crowd that cheered the pick. In praising Mattis, Trump mentioned his role leading forces in Iraq and during the Gulf War, saying of Mattis' performance in the latter, "that's the way you're supposed to lead it — no games."

"Mad Dog Mattis plays no games," Trump added.

The pick came as no surprise — Trump first announced plans to nominate Mattisat the first rally of his "Thank You" tour, last week in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Trump's decision has been met with enthusiasm from Republicans, who view the tough-talking Marine general as an experienced, thoughtful and hawkish choice for the role. He's considered a hardliner on Iran and is sure to appeal to Trump's supporters who see his pledge to rip up the Iran deal as a key priority.

 Read more at NBC News