According to reports, two sources close to transition team say that President-elect Donald Trump is expected to select Gen. John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security. The retired four-star Marine is the longest-serving General, leaving the military just this year, and was once chief for the U.S. Southern Command. The official announcement is expected next week.
“John Kelly is an excellent choice to lead DHS,” Michael Krull, adjunct professor of politics at Georgetown University and executive at Resilient Corporation, told American Military News. “As evidenced by his military career, General Kelly possesses the commitment to the security of the United States as well as decades of experience leading people in large, complex bureaucracies. He has been a liaison to Capitol Hill on behalf of the Marine Corps, which will serve him well in advocating for President Trump’s priorities of securing our Southern border and keeping American safe.”
The 66-year-old four-star General was responsible for U.S. military activities and relationships in Latin America and the Caribbean during his years in Southern Command. Kelly will be the third General to officially gain a position in the incoming Trump administration. Last week, General James Mattis was announced as Secretary of Defense and last month General Michael Flynn was selected as National Security Advisor.
In 2010, Gen. Kelly lost a son, Lt. Robert Michael Kelly, in Afghanistan after he stepped on a mine while leading platoon. Gen. Kelly became the highest serving military member to lose a son or daughter in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet that was developed after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack as a means to better protect the nation from further threats. Its main task is to deal with terrorism while managing other duties such as border security, customs, and emergency management. Some agencies that fall under the umbrella of the Department are FEMA, TSA, and the U.S. Coast Guard.