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White House names Randolph Alles as new Director of Secret Service

Apr 26, 2017 12:28 IST

The White House on 25 April 2017 appointed Iraq War veteran, Major General Randolph Alles as the new Director of the Secret Service.

Alles has been made to lead the agency at a time when it is almost on the verge of collapse following a series of high-profile embarrassments over the years.

 Director of Secret Service

Key Highlights

• In his new position, Alles would be in charge of more than 1,200 federal agents and over 550 aircraft and maritime vessels.

• His appointment does not require Senate confirmation but several lawmakers have pushed for a change in rules considering the security lapses and scandals in the agency in recent years.

• In recent years, the secret service has taken disciplinary action against many of its agents for instances of security breach on the grounds of the White House and improper conduct during overseas trips.

• The agency was currently being led by Deputy Director William Callahan following the retirement of former Director Joseph Clancy for the second time.

• In total, the Secret Service has over 6,500 agents and staffers.

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About Randolph Alles

• He served 35 years in the Marine Corps and retired in 2011.

• He started off as a pilot and instructor at the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School.

• Later he was appointed to various aviation-related leadership posts, including the head of the Marine Corps Aviation Weapons Systems Requirements Branch and commanding general of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing in Iraq in 2008.

• He also served as the commanding general of Al Asad Air Base in Iraq during the deployment.

• His final assignment was as director of strategic planning at U.S. Pacific Command.

• After leaving the military, he was associated with the Customs and Border Protection agency and was working as the agency’s acting deputy commissioner up until now.

Secret Service: Controversies  & Scandals

• The service had a major instance of a security breach last month when a man jumped the fence at the White House and roamed around in its grounds for almost 15 minutes.

• The agency also got embroiled in a prostitution scandal during a South American summit during former President Obama’s term.

• The scandal brought to light the agency’s problems and a group of senior officials who reviewed the agency in 2014 found that it needed someone from the outside to lead it.

• The recommendation followed the forced resignation of Director Julia Pierson after instances of multiple presidential security breaches in the public.

• However, the then President Obama had instead opted to bring back former retired Director of the service, Joseph Clancy.

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Alles’ appointment now is perfectly in line with the earlier recommendation and it also shows current US President Donald Trump’s reliance on retired Generals for top government posts. Trump previously appointed retired General Jim Mattis as US Defense Secretary and General John Kelly as the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Alles would be reporting to both Kelly and Mattis.

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