An Army soldier’s altering encounter with a Marine.
Retired Marine General John Kelly is an outstanding choice to head the Department of Homeland Security.
I first met (then Colonel) John Kelly in 2000, while serving in my last Army duty assignment in the Pentagon, Office of the Chief, Legislative Liaison. Colonel Kelly was the Marine Corps Director of Legislative Affairs in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill. He was universally known as “the best in the business.”
So you may be asking yourself why I was befriending a member of a competing service.
It was the other way around. As luck would have it, I obtained some very valuable inside baseball from Colonel Kelly as I stumbled and fumbled around Capitol Hill. As the “Godfather of all Legislative Affairs,” he used his valuable time to mentor me, an Army Officer, and provided invaluable guidance and counsel on how to do my job more effectively for the Army. He didn’t need to do this and it undoubtedly stole him away from other duties. However, this was John Kelly the man, leader, and dedicated public servant. I soon bore witness to what others saw – a truly devoted patriot.
John Kelly never pushed off course during the remainder of his career as a Marine. I followed his story very closely as he progressed up the ranks. This man is respected not only by me, but all of those who have served with him and by the lives that he touched. As President-elect Trump’s choice to lead Homeland Security, John Kelly doesn’t need to do this either, but he has once again answered his country’s call to duty.
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired
Executive Vice President