Posts Tagged ‘Homeland Security’

Today’s Dream Team Scouting Report: General John Kelly , Secretary of Homeland Security #GeneralKelly #SecretaryOfHomelandSecurity #TrumpPresidente

January 5, 2017

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  • John Francis Kelly (born May 11, 1950) is a retired United States Marine Corps general and the former commander of United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), the Unified Combatant Command responsible for American military operations in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
  • Kelly previously served as the commanding general of the Multi-National Force—West in Iraq from February 2008 to February 2009, and as the commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North in October 2009.
  • Kelly succeeded General Douglas M. Fraser as commander of USSOUTHCOM on November 19, 2012. Kelly was succeeded by Navy Admiral Kurt W. Tidd on January 14, 2016.
  • On December 7, 2016, it was reported that President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate Kelly to be the fifth United States Secretary of Homeland Security

Early life and education

  • Kelly was born on May 11, 1950 in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was raised in an Irish-Catholic family. Before he turned 16, he had hitch-hiked across the country at least once, including a freight-hop from Seattle to Chicago. He then served for one year as a United States Merchant Marine.
  • He initially enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1970, and was discharged from active duty as a sergeant in 1972, after serving in an infantry company with the 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
  • Following graduation from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 1976, he was commissioned on December 27, 1975 as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps via Officer Candidates School.
  • He received a Master of Science degree in National Security Studies from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service in 1984.
  • Captain Kelly returned to the 2nd Marine Division in 1984, to command a rifle and weapons company. Promoted to the rank of Major in 1987, he served as the battalion’s operations officer.
  • In 1987, Major Kelly transferred to the Basic School, Quantico, VA, serving first as the head of the Offensive Tactics Section, Tactics Group, and later assuming the duties of the Director of the Infantry Officer Course.
  • After 3 years of instructing young officers, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the School for Advanced Warfare, both located at Quantico. Completing duty under instruction and selected for Lieutenant Colonel, he was assigned as Commanding Officer, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, CA. Holding this command position for two years,.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Kelly returned to the East Coast in 1994, to attend the National War College inWashington, DC.
  • He graduated in 1995, and was selected to serve as the Commandant’s Liaison Officer to the U.S. House of Representatives, Capitol Hill, where he was promoted to the rank of Colonel.
  • In 1999, Colonel Kelly transferred to joint duty and served as the Special Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, in Mons, Belgium.
  • He returned to the United States in 2001, and was assigned to a third tour of duty at Camp Lejeune, now as the Assistant Chief of Staff G-3 with the 2nd Marine Division.
  • In 2002, selected to the rank of Brigadier General, Colonel Kelly again served with the 1st Marine Division, this time as the Assistant Division Commander.
    Much of Brigadier General Kelly’s two-year assignment was spent deployed in Iraq.
  • He then returned to Headquarters Marine Corps as the Legislative Assistant to the Commandant from 2004 to 2007.
  • Promoted to major general, he returned to Camp Pendleton as the Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force. The command deployed to Iraq in early 2008 for a year-long mission, replacing II Marine Expeditionary Force as Multinational Force-West in Al Anbar and western Ninewa provinces. LtGen Kelly commanded Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North from October 2009 to March 2011.
  • General Kelly then goes to the United States Southern Command from his previous position as the Senior Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense from March 2011 to October 2012.

Awards

  • Defense Distinguished Service Medal
  • Defense Superior Service Medal Legion of Merit w/ 1 award star and Combat V
  • Meritorious Service Medal w/ 1 award star Navy and Marine Corps Commendation
  • Medal w/ 3 award stars
  • Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
  • Combat Action Ribbon Joint Meritorious Unit Award w/ 1 oak leaf cluster
  • Navy Unit Commendation
  • Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 2 service stars
  • Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal w/ 2 service stars
  • Southwest Asia Service Medal w/ 1 service star Iraq
  • Campaign Medal w/ 3 service stars
  • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 4 service stars
  • Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
  • Grand Officer of the Order of San Carlos (Colombia)
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
  • Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge

Personal life 

In 2010, Kelly’s 29 year old son, First Lieutenant Robert Kelly, was killed when he stepped on a landmine while leading a platoon on a patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan. The younger Kelly was a former enlisted Marine and was on his third combat tour, but on his first combat tour as a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer. At the time of his death, Robert Kelly was with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Robert Kelly’s death made John Kelly the highest-ranking military officer to lose a son or daughter in Iraq or Afghanistan. Kelly’s eldest son is a Marine Corps major.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s Dream Team Scouting Report: Jeff Sessions, Attorney General #JeffSessions #AttorneyGeneral #TrumpPresidente

December 30, 2016

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  • Jeff Sessions was born in Selma, Alabama on December 24, 1946.
  • The son of a country store owner. Growing up in the country, Sessions was instilled with the core values – honesty, hard work, belief in God and parental respect – that define him today.
  • In 1964, he became an Eagle Scout and has received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
  • Sessions worked his way through Huntingdon College in Montgomery, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969.
  • He received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Alabama in 1973.
  • Sessions served in the United States Army Reserve from 1973 to 1986 ultimately attaining the rank of Captain. He still considers that period to be one of the most rewarding chapters of his life.

Sessions’ interest in the law led to a distinguished legal career:

  • First as a practicing attorney in Russellville, and Mobile, Alabama
  • Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama (1975-1977)
  • Nominated by President Reagan in 1981 and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the United States Attorney for Alabama’s Southern District, a position he held for 12 years.
  • Sessions was elected Alabama Attorney General in 1995, serving as the state’s chief legal officer until 1997, when he entered the United States Senate.

As a United States Senator, Sessions has focused his energies on maintaining a strong military, upholding the rule of law, limiting the role of government, and providing tax relief to stimulate economic growth and empowering Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money.

  • Dubbed a “budget hawk” by the Alabama press, Sen. Sessions was selected for the 112th and 113th Congresses to serve as the Ranking Member on the Senate Budget Committee to restrain the growth of federal spending and make permanent tax cuts.
  • As a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he is a leading advocate of confirming federal judges who follow the law and do not legislate from the bench.
  • As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sessions is a strong advocate for the military, including the four major defense installations in Alabama.
  • Sessions also serves on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. His membership on the EPW Committee provides him the opportunity to develop policies that promote reliable and affordable energy sources and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
  • A strong environmentalist, he was responsible for legislation that created the newest addition to the National Wildlife Refuge system, the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge near Anniston.
  • He authored legislation that extended wilderness protection for Dugger Mountain in the Talladega National Forest, and
  • The White House, upon Sessions’ recommendation, formed a high-level working group to assess mercury pollution in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Senator Sessions authored the Honoring Every Requirement of Exemplary Service (HEROES) Act, which was signed into law in May 2005. This legislation increased the payment received by the families of fallen combat soldiers from $12,000 to $100,000 and also increased the maximum servicemen’s life insurance benefit from $250,000 to $400,000.
  • Sessions played a leading role in ensuring that the Medicare Prescription Drug law included a rural health care component that reduced the disparity in Medicare payments that has devastated Alabama hospitals.
  • Sessions authored a key provision in the 2001 tax cut bill to make interest earned on tuition savings and prepaid tuition plans tax free.
  • Senator Sessions joined in leading efforts to make funding more equal in the Ryan White CARE Act. The South has been hardest hit with HIV/AIDS in recent years, but the funding formula kept most of the money going to big cities. The new legislation will bring much-needed funding to Alabama, making health care available for low-income Alabamians living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Sessions was the author of the Paul Coverdell National Forensic Sciences Improvement Law of 2000, which authorized badly needed funds for state and local crime labs to reduce the backlog of ballistics, blood, and DNA tests
  • Senator Sessions worked closely with his Gulf state-colleagues to open 8.3 million acres of land in the Gulf of Mexico to new energy exploration, the first such expansion in decades. The newly opened tract of land, which is 125 miles off the coast, contains an estimated 1.3 billion barrels of oil and 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The law also included a provision to share tens-of-millions of federal revenue dollars each year with Alabama to fund environmental restoration and coastal infrastructure projects.

While serving in the United States Senate, Sessions has received numerous awards including:

  • the American Conservative Union Award for Conservative Excellence
  • The Reserve Officers Association Minuteman of the Year Award
  • The National Taxpayers Union Friend of the Taxpayer Award
  • The Watchdogs of the Treasury Golden Bulldog Award
  • The National Federation of Independent Business Guardian of Small Business Award
  • The Coalition of Republican Environment Advocates Teddy Roosevelt Environmental Award; and
  • The Alabama Farmers Federation Service to Agriculture Award.

In 2014, the people of Alabama overwhelmingly voted to return Sessions to the Senate for a fourth term, electing him with more than 97 percent of all votes cast.

He keeps close tabs on the concerns of his Alabama constituents, holding town meetings and traveling to all 67 counties in the state each year.

While serving as the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee in the 110th Congress, Sessions was the senior Republican who questioned Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama’s nominee to succeed retiring Justice David Souter. Sessions focused on Sotomayor’s views on empathy as a quality for a judge, arguing that “empathy for one party is always prejudice against another.”Sessions also questioned the nominee about her views on the use of foreign law in deciding cases,as well as her role in the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF).

On July 28, 2009, Sessions joined five Republican colleagues in voting against Sotomayor’s nomination in the Judiciary Committee. The committee approved Sotomayor by a vote of 13–6. Sessions also voted against Sotomayor when her nomination came before the full Senate. He was one of 31 senators (all Republicans) to do so, while 68 voted to confirm the nominee.

Sessions also served as the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee during the nomination process for Elena Kagan, President Obama’s nominee to succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens. Sessions based his opposition on the nominee’s lack of experience, her background as a political operative (Kagan had said that she worked in the Clinton White House not as a lawyer but as a policy adviser), and her record on guns, abortion, and gay rights. Sessions pointed out that Kagan “has a very thin record legally, never tried a case, never argued before a jury, only had her first appearance in the appellate courts a year ago.”

Sessions focused the majority of his criticism on Kagan’s treatment of the military while she was dean of Harvard Law School. During her tenure, Kagan reinstated the practice of requiring military recruiters to coordinate their activities through a campus veterans organization, rather than the school’s Office of Career Services. Kagan argued that she was trying to comply with a law known as the Solomon Amendment, which barred federal funds from any college or university that did not grant military recruiters equal access to campus facilities. Sessions asserted that Kagan’s action was a violation of the Solomon Amendment and that it amounted to “demeaning and punishing the military.” He also argued that her action showed a willingness to place her politics above the law, and questioned “whether she had the intellectual honesty, the clarity of mind, that you would expect on the Supreme Court.”

On July 20, 2010, Sessions and five Republican colleagues voted against Kagan’s nomination. Despite this, the Judiciary Committee approved the nomination by a 13–6 vote. Sessions also voted against Kagan in the full Senate vote, joining 36 other senators (including one Democrat) in opposition. 63 senators voted to confirm Kagan. Following the vote, Sessions remarked on future nominations and elections, saying that Americans would “not forgive the Senate if we further expose our Constitution to revision and rewrite by judicial fiat to advance what President Obama says is a broader vision of what America should be.”

Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016, Sessions refused to consider any nominee for the position. Sessions maintained his opposition after President Obama nominated D.C. Circuit judge Merrick Garland, joining other Republican Senators in delaying a Supreme Court hearing until the inauguration of a new president.

Sessions has served as a lay leader and as a Sunday school teacher at his family’s church, Ashland Place United Methodist Church, in Mobile. He served as the Chairman of his church’s Administrative Board and has been selected as a delegate to the annual Alabama Methodist Conference.

2016 presidential election

Sessions was an early supporter of the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, and was a major policy adviser to the Trump campaign, especially in regard to immigration and national security. Sessions donned a “Make America Great Again” cap at a Trump rally in August 2015, and Stephen Miller, Sessions’s longtime-communications director, joined the Trump campaign. On February 28, 2016, Sessions officially endorsed Donald Trump for president. The Trump campaign considered Sessions for the position of running mate, and Sessions was widely seen as a potential Cabinet secretary in a Trump administration.

After electoral victory and his nominee-designation by President-elect Trump as Attorney General, Sessions also played a large role in appointments and policy preparation relative to space, NASA and related facilities in Alabama.

President-elect Trump announced on November 18, 2016, that he plans to nominate Sessions to be Attorney General of the United States.[50]

Sessions and his wife, Mary Blackshear Sessions, originally of Gadsden, Alabama, have three children, Mary Abigail Reinhardt, Ruth Sessions Walk, and Sam. They have seven granddaughters, Jane Ritchie, Alexa, Gracie, Sophia, Hannah, Joanna, and Phoebe and three grandsons, Jim Beau, Lewis, and Nicholas.

Today’s Scouting Report on America’s Dream Team: Thomas Bossert, White House Homeland Security Advisor #HomelandSecurity#TrumpPresidente #TomBossert

December 28, 2016

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Succeeding Lisa Monaco
Political party Republican
Education University of Pittsburgh (BA)
George Washington University
(JD)

Thomas P. “Tom” Bossert is an American lawyer and Republican White House staffer.

  • Served as Deputy Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. In that capacity
  • Co-authored the 2007 National Strategy for Homeland Security.
  • Bossert held positions in the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • The Small Business Administration
  • The Office of the Independent Counsel, and
  • The House of Representatives.
  • He also was appointed as the Director of Infrastructure Protection under Bush, overseeing the security of critical U.S. infrastructure.
  • Following that, he was appointed the Senior Director for Preparedness Policy within the Executive Office of the President.

Bossert attended the University of Pittsburgh to earn his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics in 1997 and attended George Washington University Law School, earning his Juris Doctor in 2003.

Following the end of the Bush administration, Bossert was made a Nonresident Zurich Cyber Risk Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Security Initiative, a position he held until 2016. He also became president of the risk management consulting firm Civil Defense Solutions.

On December 27, 2016, the Trump transition team announced that President-elect Donald Trump intends to appoint Bossert to the post of Homeland Security Advisor (officially titled the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism), a position that does not require Senate confirmation. Unlike under President Obama, the Homeland Security Advisor will be of equal status and rank as the National Security Advisor under the Trump administration, perhaps indicating that President-elect Trump intends to separate the homeland security advisory staff from the national security advisory staff, as it was before the Obama administration.