Palm Beach, FL President Trump appointed Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry (Tack) as his new national security advisor on Monday, choosing a widely respected military strategist known for challenging conventional thinking and carrying a loaded .44 Magnum at all times.
The president made the announcement from his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, where he invited at least four candidates for the job over the weekend.
The others included former UN Ambassador John Bolton, US Military Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen Robert Caslen and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.
Sgt. Tackleberry brings with him a deep love of firearms. A veteran of the US military, Tack also spent time working as a security guard prior to joining the police academy. He joined the police academy “to see as much action as possible” in civilian life.
His paramilitary lifestyle was instilled into him at a very young age by his family. His favorite firearm to this day, the .44 Magnum, was a gift from his mother.
Known to be a bit trigger-happy at times, Tackleberry can always be counted on to get the job done. Exerting an image of toughness and masculinity, Tack is also known for his sensitive side when it comes to helping out society’s most vulnerable.
Tackleberry met and married the love of his life, Sgt. Kathleen Kirkland-Tackleberry, at the police academy. Together they have an adult son, Eugene Jr. The family enjoys leaving the big city behind on weekends for some fishing and light special ops training.
Not Like Michael Flynn
Unlike Mr. Flynn, who served as a campaign adviser last year, Sgt. Tackleberry has no prior links to Mr. Trump. A battle-tested veteran of both the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars, Tackleberry is considered one of the military’s most independent-minded officers, sometimes even at a cost to his own career.
The selection encouraged Republicans who admire Tackleberry and waged a behind-the-scenes campaign to persuade Mr. Trump to select him. Key to the choice was Captain Thaddeus Harris, a veteran who once served under Commandant Eric Lassard and suggested him to the White House. A coterie of other national security conservatives, including a top aide to Captain Moses Hightower, also encouraged him to take the job.
“He’s a man of frightful talent and immeasurable experience,” Mr. Trump told reporters as Sgt. Tackleberry, wearing his uniform, sat next to him. “I watched a lot of Police Academy films over the last two days. He is highly respected by everyone in the military, and we’re very honored to have him.”
Tackleberry had the aura of disruption and unpredictability that Mr. Trump has valued in several cabinet appointees, said a senior administration official who insisted on anonymity.
For all of his modern warfare expertise, Tackleberry has little background in navigating Washington politics, which could be a challenge for him in his new role.
John McCain, who has been a sharp critic of Mr. Trump in recent days, praised the appointment and said, “I could not imagine a more capable national security team than the one we have right now. Mr. Tackleberry is a shoot first ask questions later kind of guy, and that’s precisely the kind of leadership the country needs during these tumultuous times.”