A retired Navy SEAL admiral will hold the nation’s top intelligence position. President Donald Trump decided to give the intelligence keys to Retired Vice Admiral Joseph Maguire and make him Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

A highly respected officer among the Special Operations community, the former SEAL has had an admirable career both in the Navy and federal government. In 1977, he was voted as the honor graduate of his Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) class, which he managed to finish despite a broken leg. His career in the Naval Special Warfare community includes stints at the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) – another title for SEAL Team 6 – as deputy commander, SEAL Team 2, as commanding officer, Special Operations Command (SOCOM), as the director of strategic resources, and finally, Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC), as commanding officer.

President Trump announced the change of command on Twitter:

“I am pleased to inform you that the Honorable Joseph Maguire, current Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will be named Acting Director of National Intelligence, effective August 15th. Admiral Maguire has a long and distinguished career in the military, retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2010. He commanded at every level, including the Naval Special Warfare Command. He has also served as a National Security Fellow at Harvard University. I have no doubt he will do a great job!”

The transition will be smooth for Admiral Maguire since he was previously serving as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. After leaving the Navy, Admiral Maguire became an executive for Booz Allen Hamilton, a management and information technology consulting firm. He assumed his duties at the National Counterterrorism Center in late 2018. Previously, he was the president and chief executive officer of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF), a nonprofit organisation that provides financial support to wounded commandos and their families.

Part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Counterterrorism Center functions as a fusion center were multiple federal organisations, to include the CIA, FBI, DIA, and NSA, among other agencies, provide intelligence and analyses regarding terrorist threats (domestic and international) to policymakers.

Admiral Maguire, however, wasn’t the president’s first choice for the key position. Representative John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) was initially slated for the job, but concerns over his intelligence knowledge and experience disqualified him. Dan Coats, the departing DNI, said in a statement that “I have had the pleasure of working with NCTC Director Joseph Maguire as part of my leadership team at ODNI, and I am pleased that the President has announced that Joe will serve as Acting DNI. Joe has had a long, distinguished career serving the nation and will lead the men and women in the IC with distinction.”

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