Trump taps Boston native to head up Department of Homeland Security
By Kelly Thomas | December 13, 2016, 16:11 EST
Washington DC –President-Elect Trump has announced John Kelly, a retired Marine general, as his pick to head up the Department of Homeland Security in his Cabinet.
In a released statement following the announcement, Kelly said:
“The American people voted in this election to stop terrorism, take back sovereignty at our borders, and put a stop to political correctness that for too long has dictated our approach to national security.”
Born in Boston, Kelly, 66, enlisted in the Marines in 1970. He later graduated from UMass Boston and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Corp following his participation in Officer Candidate School.
Prior to retiring earlier in 2016, Kelly served as the head of the U.S. Southern Command, responsible for U.S. military posts in Southern and Central America, including Guantanamo Bay, the closure of which he did not agree with.
Leon Panetta a former Director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense, endorsed the nomination, saying the four-star general “understands what it takes to keep our nation safe.”
Trump also voiced his confidence in his pick, calling Kelly “the right person to spearhead the urgent mission of stopping illegal immigration and securing our borders.”
Kelly’s nomination makes him the third highly-ranked military official to be tapped for the incoming administration. Additionally, he carries the somber distinction of being the highest-ranking U.S. military official to have lost a child in combat. His son, Marine Lt. Robert Michael Kelly, was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.