President-elect Donald Trump has chosen General John Kelly as head of the Department of Homeland Security, making him the third general to be appointed for a top position within the Trump administration.
Major Garret of CBS News confirmed the appointment Wednesday morning, reporting that offer was made, and accepted by Kelly, while Kelly was traveling in Europe. A formal announcement is expected by Trump’s transition team within the next few days.
Kelly reportedly had not endorsed Trump during his campaign, and had stated at one point that he would be willing to serve in either a Republican or a Democratic administration. He will oversee almost 250,000 people now employed within the Department of Homeland Security.
General Kelly spent almost 46 years in the Marine Corps, and was commander of U.S. Southern Command until earlier this year, where he was over U.S. military operations in Central America and South America. Prior to that, Kelly was over American military forces many years in Iraq.
Kelly is also the highest-ranking American military official to lose a child in combat since 9/11, CBS News reports. Kelly’s son, Marine Lt. Robert Michael Kelly, was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 when he stepped on a land mine. Trump’s aides reportedly said that also played a part in Trump’s decision, as he wanted people on his security team who personally understood the risks involved in sending Americans into combat.
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