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Posted: February 09, 2018

Who is Gen. John Kelly, President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff?

Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images
The Life and Career of General John Kelly

By Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly is under fire for the way he handled former Staff Secretary Rob Porter’s resignation this week and, according to news outlets, has reportedly offered to resign his position.

>> Read more trending news 

Kelly was appointed as chief of staff to help bring order to a tumultuous West Wing and Oval Office, but has now found himself part of the problem he was hired to solve

Kelly started off in the Trump administration in January of 2017 as Secretary of Homeland Security.

Within six months, he was appointed to take over for Reince Priebus as chief of staff. In fact, Trump called Priebus on Thursday to discuss his anger over Kelly’s mishandling of Porter’s departure, according to The New York Times

>> Related: Who is Hope Hicks: 13 things to know 

Kelly was born in Boston in 1950 into an Irish Catholic family. His father was a postal worker in the Boston neighborhood of Brighton where Kelly grew up.

He served a year in the U.S. Merchant Marine before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1970, according to his biography on the Department of Defense website.

After he was discharged from the Marines in 1972, he attended the University of Massachusetts, graduating in 1976. He returned to the Marines, where he served as a rifle and weapons platoon commander among other leadership roles.

>> Related: 5 things to know about Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, senior adviser

Kelly married Karen Hernest in 1976 and had three children, two boys and a girl, according to Wikipedia.

His son, First Lt. Robert Michael Kelly was killed in action, in Afghanistan on Nov. 9 2010, when he stepped on a mine while leading a patrol. Kelly other son, John Jr., is a Marine Corps major.

Kelly was promoted to the rank of major in 1987 and served as the 2nd Marine Division’s operations officer. By the mid-90s Kelly was promoted to lieutenant colonel. 

He was selected as a Commandant’s Liaison Officer in the House of Representatives in 1995 where he was promoted to colonel.

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By 2002, Kelly, a much-decorated military veteran, was promoted to brigadier general. He served in Iraq in the mid-2000s and was soon promoted to major general. He also worked as an assistant to the Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2012, according to his biography.

 

 


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