On January 20th of 2017, John F. Kelly was sworn in as the fifth United States Secretary of Homeland Security. He was nominated to his position by President Trump in the latter parts of 2016. Long before ever accepting his new post, this retired Marine corps general served as the Commander of the United States Southern Command. In this position, he held responsibility for American military operations across Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. It can be said, however, even with all the responsibility he’s held prior, that his new job certainly represents a step up. As the new Secretary of Homeland Security, he’s in charge of protecting the United States from terrorist threats and providing a quick response to all the nation’s natural disaster.
Born on May 11th of 1950, John Francis Kelly was raised in an inner Boston suburb. By the time he’d reached 16, Kelly had hitchhiked his way all the way from Massachusetts to the outer confines of Washington State. A daring move for a daring kid. After looping back home, he joined the military as a United States Merchant Marine. This, unlike many things he’d encountered captured his interest. When the 1970 draft came up, he signed up as a member of the US Marine Corps. After two years of service, he was discharged with the rank of lieutenant. By 2003, he was a brigadier general. From there, Kelly quickly rocketed to the highest rankings of the United States Military.
He’s been married to his wife, Karen Hernest, since 1976. The two have had three children together. His eldest child’s death in Afghanistan made Kelly the highest-ranking member of the military to lose a child to the battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to his family, Kelly also devoted plenty of time to getting an education.
- University of Massachusetts Boston: John Francis Kelly graduated from the University of Massachusetts’ (UMASS) in 1973. He would later build upon this degree, earning a master’s degree, at Georgetown. UMASS, however, is certainly not one to be looked down on. Spread across five different campuses, this public university boasts a student population of roughly 73-thousand. In 2016, Times Higher Education ranked UMASS as the 57th school in the nation.
- Georgetown University: Nine years after earning his bachelor’s degree, John Kelly graduated from Georgetown with a Master of Science in National Security Studies. This highly-regarded private research university is located in the heart of the nation’s capital. Georgetown students can choose from more than 48 disciplines spread across nine different schools of thoughts. Now boasting annual enrollments of roughly 18,000, the school continues to produce some of the world’s best diplomats.