Trump’s Anticipated New Secret Service Director Was A ‘Top Gun’ Fighter Pilot

Russ Read | Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

President Donald Trump is expected to name retired Marine Maj. Gen. Randolph “Tex” Alles, a former “Top Gun” fighter pilot, as its next director.

Alles currently serves as the acting deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a position he inherited after Trump’s inauguration. He previously spent 35 years as a remarkably successful Marine Corps naval aviator.

Alles began his career in public service by commissioning in the Marine Corps after graduating from Texas A&M University in 1976. He became a naval aviator in the Marines, and flew more than 5,000 hours in various fighter aircraft, including the F-4, F-5, F-16, F/A-18 and A-4. More than 300 of his hours were spent in combat. Alles eventually earned a coveted spot as an instructor at the prestigious U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School, also known as “Top Gun.”

The retired general held several leadership positions in both the Marine Corps and joint combatant commands. Alles is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he commanded Marine Aircraft Group 11 and Third Marine Aircraft Wing. He was awarded several commendations during his Marine Corps carer, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Combat V and Gold Star and the Defense Superior Service Medal with Oak Leaf cluster.

Alles retired from military service in 2011, joining the Customs and Border Patrol in 2012.

He will inherit the Secret Service, which has been the subject of several controversies in recent years, including several under Trump. The administration purposefully chose Alles because he was outside the ranks of the Secret Service, which has upset former agents, according to a report by Politico.

He will take over for Secret Service Deputy Director William Callahan, who has run the agency since former Director Joseph Clancy retired on March 4. The position is directly appointed by the president, meaning Alles will not require Senate confirmation.
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