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Outgoing Commander of the U.S. Southern Command, Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, speaks during a change of command ceremony at U.S. Southern Command, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016, in Miami. Kelly is being replaced by Admiral Kurt W. Tidd. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Retired Gen. John Kelly was officially chosen to lead Department of Homeland Security


President-elect Donald Trump officially announced he will nominate retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly to be the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Secretary (DHS), a Cabinet-level position. 

The DHS was created in response to the terrorists attacks on Sept. 11. 2001. It's an umbrella organization that includes the U.S. Coast Guard, Secret Service, TSA, several immigration and customs enforcement agencies, FEMA and other agencies tasked with domestic security, training and law enforcement.

Before retiring earlier this year Kelly, a four-star general, was the commander of United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) and oversaw the military in South and Central America, including the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. 

Previously he served as Commandant's Liaison Officer to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Kelly  is also a Gold Star father -- his youngest son was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010. He is the third general Trump has appointed to his Cabinet. 

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.
Statement from Donald Trump

“He is the right person to spearhead the urgent mission of stopping illegal immigration and securing our borders, streamlining TSA and improving coordination between our intelligence and law enforcement agencies," Trump said in a statement.

In a statement accepting the nomination Kelly gave a preview of what his focus will be as Secretary of DHS:

“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," the statement read.

Transition spokesman Sean Spicer announces Kelly.

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