Trump taps outsider to lead Secret Service

Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Randolph "Tex" Alles, the current head of Customs and Border Protection, was named the director of the Secret Service on Tuesday.

Alles will take over for Secret Service Deputy Director William Callahan, who has been leading the agency in an acting capacity since March 4, when then-Director Joseph Clancy retired.

Alles' selection by President Donald Trump does not require Senate approval, and it marks a departure for the Secret Service, whose leaders have typically come from within its own ranks.

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Randolph 'Tex' Alles
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Randolph 'Tex' Alles
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 10: Randolph Alles, of the Customs and Border Protection's Office testifies during a Senate Homeland Security hearing on Capitol Hill, April 10, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony on border security as some are calling for an overhaul of immigration laws that would allow millions of undocumented immigrants to remain permanently in the U.S. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 10: (L-R) Kevin McAleenan of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Michael Fisher, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, Randolph Alles, of the Customs and Border Protection's Office and James Dinkins, of Homeland Security Investigations at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, participte in a Senate Homeland ecurity hearing on Capitol Hill, April 10, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony on border security as some are calling for an overhaul of immigration laws that would allow millions of undocumented immigrants to remain permanently in the U.S. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 10: Kevin McAleenan, acting deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Michael Fisher, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol; and Randolph Alles, assistant commissioner in Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine, testify at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on 'Border Security: Frontline Perspectives on Progress and Remaining Challenges.' (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)
(Photo: CBP.gov)
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The announcement was made in a brief statement distributed by the White House.

The former major general will inherit an agency that's been mired in scandals, negative press attention and low morale.

Last month, a man made it onto the White House grounds and managed to stay there for 16 minutes – an incident that resulted in the firing of two uniformed Secret Service officers and other potential disciplinary action. Meanwhile, that same month, a laptop containing sensitive information was stolen from an agent's car, and in April, another agent was suspended after meeting with a prostitute.

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Secret Service directors through history
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Secret Service directors through history

Randolph "Tex" Alles

(Photo: CBP.gov)

Joseph Clancy 

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Julia Pierson

(Handout /Reuters)

Mark Sullivan

(REUTERS/Larry Downing)

W. Ralph Basham

(Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

Brian L. Stafford

(TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Lewis C. Merletti

(Photo by Craig Herndon/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

John Magaw

(JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/Getty Images)

H. Stuart Knight

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

James J. Rowley

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

U. E. Baughman

(Bettmann/CORBIS/Bettmann Archive)

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The incidents followed a string of breaches and missteps under former President Barack Obama, from a knife-wielding man who jumped a fence and managed to enter the White House before being stopped in September 2014, to eight agents who lost their jobs after hiring prostitutes during an advance trip to Colombia in April 2012, to an incident in November 2011 when gunshots struck the White House but went unrecognized by agents for four days.

The scandals have contributed to dismal morale among the Secret Service's rank and file – a situation made worse by onerous work schedules and salary restrictions that, until Obama signed a new bill in December, capped agents' pay at $160,300, including overtime.

The 152-year-old agency is responsible for protecting the president, as well as first lady Melania Trump and the couple's youngest son, Barron, who continue to live in New York, as well as Trump's adult children, Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report

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