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Trump taps retired general Kelly for Homeland Security chief

 US President-elect Donald Trump meeting with retired Marine Corps general John Kelly at the clubhouse of Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. President-elect Donald Trump has decided to name retired Marine Corps general John Kelly, a veteran of combat in Iraq, to lead the Department of Homeland Security, US media said December 7, 2016. Kelly would be the third retired general -- all of them former Marines -- to be named to cabinet-level positions in Trump's administration. The impending appointment was widely reported in the US media but not confirmed by Trump's transition office, apparently because Kelly is out of the country. Kelly, 66, is a former head of the US Southern Command and was the commanding general of Multi-National Force-West in Iraq from 2008 to 2009.  / AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERT

US President-elect Donald Trump meeting with retired Marine Corps general John Kelly at the clubhouse of Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.<br />President-elect Donald Trump has decided to name retired Marine Corps general John Kelly, a veteran of combat in Iraq, to lead the Department of Homeland Security, US media said December 7, 2016. Kelly would be the third retired general — all of them former Marines — to be named to cabinet-level positions in Trump’s administration. The impending appointment was widely reported in the US media but not confirmed by Trump’s transition office, apparently because Kelly is out of the country. Kelly, 66, is a former head of the US Southern Command and was the commanding general of Multi-National Force-West in Iraq from 2008 to 2009.<br />/ AFP PHOTO / DON EMMERT

Donald Trump announced Monday he will nominate retired general John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security, the third ex-military man tapped for a top job in his presidential administration.

“General 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.

“He is the right person to spearhead the urgent mission of stopping illegal immigration and securing our borders, streamlining TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and improving coordination between our intelligence and law enforcement agencies,” Trump said.

Kelly led the US Southern Command, covering US military operations in Central and South America and the Caribbean, including efforts to stem the flow of illegal drugs across the US southern border and end human trafficking.

“I am humbled and grateful to be nominated to serve in President-elect Trump’s cabinet as Homeland Security Secretary,” Kelly said in the statement issued by the president-elect.

“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.

“I will tackle those issues with a seriousness of purpose and a deep respect for our laws and Constitution. I am honored for the opportunity to be back in the service to our country, and our people.”

The third general chosen for Trump’s cabinet, Kelly spent 45 years in the US Marines, holding a range of positions from field commands in Iraq to political liaison in Congress before finishing his career as commander of the US armed forces Southern Command.

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