Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus has joined the Navy as a reserve officer with the backing of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, according to media reports.
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Priebus, 46, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee before joining the Trump White House, was selected as a reserve officer with help from a recommendation letter from Mattis, The Washington Post reported, citing a memo it obtained.
"Reince's experience, education, and personality make him an ideal fit to be commissioned into the Navy Reserve," Mattis wrote, according to the Post.
Priebus’ sister is a Navy doctor, and his father taught at the Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois. Priebus referred to them as his inspirations for joining, along with the family of a Navy SEAL who was killed in a special operations raid in Yemen.
The memo also said a Navy review board "professionally recommended" Priebus and four others to join the service after reviewing 42 applications for a competitive direct-commission program for human resources officers.
Priebus joined the Trump administration as chief of staff after President Donald Trump's election in 2016 and was ousted after just six months on the job in July 2017. Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly replaced him, but Kelly has now handed in his resignation.