Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly: A Marine general with 46 years of service under his belt from Vietnam to Iraq, Kelly served as the commander of U.S. Southern Command from November 2012 until he retired in January 2016.
CBS Kelly is the third general tapped by the president-elect, joining Gen. James Mattis, Mr. Trump’s pick to become the next secretary of Defense, and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump’s incoming national security advisor. Like Mattis, Kelly is a Marine with a reputation for bluntness.
Kelly was the commander of U.S. Southern Command until earlier this year. In that posting, he oversaw American military operations in South America and Central America. Before that, he commanded American forces numerous times in Iraq, and spent a year as the top Marine in that country. He then was an aide to defense secretaries Leon Panetta and Robert Gates.
Created after the 9/11 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security now employs nearly 250,000 people. Trump pledged repeatedly to better secure America’s borders on the campaign trail, and it is likely that Kelly, should he take the position, will be central to that effort.
Kelly is the highest-ranking U.S. military officer to have lost a child in combat operations in Southwest Asia, when his youngest son, 1st Lt. Robert Michael Kyle, was killed in action in Sangin, Afghanistan on Nov. 9, 2010.
Kelly is now the third distinguished General to be tapped by the President-elect.