Retired Gen John Kelly on Monday officially became the third general to join the incoming Trump administration in a senior position as the president-elect’s nominee to head the department of homeland security.
The two others before him were retired generals Michael Flynn, named national security adviser, and James “Mad Dog” Mattis, the secretary of defence.
“Gen. John Kelly’s decades of military service and deep commitment to fighting the threat of terrorism inside our borders makes him the ideal choice to serve as our Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security,” Trump said in a statement.
Kelly capped a 45-year military career as head of the US Southern Command, an assignment that immersed him in border security issues, migrant flows and counter-drug operations in the Caribbean and Central and South America.
That experience — and his record running large organisations — will be useful if he is confirmed by Congress to take charge of the Department of Homeland Security, a sprawling bureaucracy responsible for border protection and internal security.
With 240,000 civil servants, homeland security includes the secret service, the coast guard, immigration and customs enforcement, and the agency that protects airports.
It also has an intelligence arm and an office dedicated to preventing nuclear terrorism.
Trump’s packing of his top team with generals, the most brassy team in recent US history, has raised concerns, specially his choice to head the military.