Trump chooses military historian H.R. McMaster for National Security Advisor

By Bonnie K. Goodman

President Donald Trump chose another military man to fill the shoes of National Security Advisor. On Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, President Trump announced from his Winter White House at Mar-a-Lago in Florida that he decided to appoint Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his National Security Advisor. Meanwhile his interim National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg will continue as chief of staff for the National Security Council.

While announcing his appointments of McMaster and Kellogg, President commented, “That combination is something very, very special.” Speaking of the other candidates he interviewed for the post, Trump said, he has “tremendous respect for the people I met with,” and previewed that former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton will work in the administrations in a “somewhat different capacity.”

McMaster is a graduate of West Point, and he has a “Ph.D. in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.” He wrote his dissertation on the Vietnam War arguing the Johnson administration’s failed policies were because of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He later published his dissertation as a book Dereliction of Duty in 1997 and was an assistant professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy.

McMaster is a three-star general who served as a cavalry commander in the Gulf War and was awarded a Silver Star for his service. He later commanded troops in the Iraq War in 2005. More recently he has held leadership roles within the Army’s operations, including the director position at the Army Capabilities Integration Center.

McMaster would need Senate confirmation to hold on to his military position, a standard procedure for three and four-star generals, who change jobs will remain on active duty. He will also not be the only active general to take on the role of National Security Advisor. President Gerald Ford in 1975 appointed Air Force Lieutenant General Brent Scrowcroft, and President Ronald Reagan appointed Navy Vice Admiral John Poindexter and Army Lieutenant General Colin Powell in the same post.

Source: ABC News Radio Online

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