General John Kelly Chosen as Department of Homeland Security Secretary
President Elect Donald Trump is tapping General John Kelly to run the Department of Homeland Security. General 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.
General John F. Kelly was born May 11, 1950 and is a United States Marine Corps general and the former commander of United States Southern Command. Kelly previously served as the commanding general of the Multi National Force West in Iraq from February 2008 to February 2009, and as the commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North in October 2009. Kelly succeeded General Douglas M. Fraser as commander of U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) on November 19, 2012. Kelly was succeeded by Navy Admiral Kurt W. Tidd on January 14, 2016.
General John Kelly is the highest ranking U.S. military officer to have lost a child in combat operations in Southwest Asia. His youngest son, 1st Lieutenant Robert Michael Kelly, was killed in action in Sangin, Afghanistan on November 9, 2010. The younger Kelly was a former enlisted Marine and was on his third combat tour, but on his first combat tour as a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer. At the time of his death, 1st Lt Kelly was with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. General Kelly’s eldest child is a Marine Corps major.
Kelly was the senior military assistant to the Secretary of Defense and personally greeted Secretary Panetta at the entrance to the Pentagon on July 1, 2011, Panetta’s first day as secretary.