1. To take charge of this post and all government property in view.
2. To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
3. To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.
4. To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guardhouse than my own.
5. To quit my post only when properly relieved.
6. To receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me, all orders from the Commanding Officer, Command Duty Officer, Officer of the Deck, and Officers and Petty Officers of the watch only..
7. To talk to no one except in the line of duty.
8. To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.
9. To call the Officer of the Deck in any case not covered by instructions.
10. To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.
11. To be especially watchful at night and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.
These eleven orders, once given, become part of the enlistee's required knowledge, and the enlistee can be tested on it at any time and is expected to provide a correct response when challenged on any one or several orders by a drill instructor.
As nothing in the military is a standalone piece of knowledge, these orders integrate into the lives of the Sailor, Coast Guardsman, or Marine. During basic training, each enlistee will be a sentry by watching their barracks to ensure that it does not catch fire and is not intruded upon. In the fleet, they will man a watch on a ship or on a fenceline to ensure that both are operating as they should with no intrusions or issues, and if there is anything out of the ordinary, they will use the general orders to resolve it.
Is someone approaching a space that you are guarding? You are the guardian of that space (1). You are present and watch them coming (2). They should be challenged to see who they are (11). If they don't belong there, they should be told to leave, and if an issue persists, report it (3). Regardless of whether they are there properly, there should be no chit-chat, and all interaction should be as professional as possible (7). Record the interaction (2). At the end of your shift, inform the relief what orders are issued, and any special information that they need to know (6), and then, and only then, leave your post only when properly relieved by your replacement (5).
Going back to that assumption that you joined the military, this would be what you would do every time you had a shift, yes, but also any time you assumed a leadership role. Could General Order #1 be inferred to mean that you have a responsibility to ensure no fraud of governmental resources within your control occurs under your watch? Sure. And that if you see any fraud that you are to report it? Absolutely. The General Orders of a Sentry become part of your ethos after enough repetition and practice with them.
Now, let's imagine that you advance through enlisted ranks, and that you commission as an officer. You've been put in charge of people and assets all of your career, and now you're in charge of planning and execution of plans using those assets. You have continued to succeed, and you are promoted again. You're promoted to higher headquarters staff, where you plan with units full of people and their assets. Missions are thought of at this level and tasked to subordinate units for execution. For those subordinates, you set the example, and you continue to take charge of what you have been entrusted with and care for it.
After a long and storied career, full of successes both individual and unit, you've reached the pinnacle of your career. You are a General Officer. You've promoted and you now have command. Command over a geographic region, the mission of your service in that region, and, inter alia, the people in that work for you in that region. The General Order to take charge of all government property in view still applies to you and you are now the standard bearer for your people.
Described, briefly, above, is the career of General John Kelly, USMC. General Kelly enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and ultimately rose to the rank of Sergeant. After a brief gap where he was discharged, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, and began his rise as an officer. After being assigned to Headquarters, Marine Corps, he commanded a rifle and weapons company. A few duty stations later, he then served as a Training Officer to incoming officers at Quantico, and as the Commanding Officer to a light armored reconnaissance battalion. Several years and duty stations later, he was the Special Assistant to Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, and then he took command of Task Force Tripoli in Iraq. After being promoted to General Officer, General Kelly served as commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), and then Commander of Multi-National Force West in Iraq. After serving as the senior military assistant the Secretary of Defense, GEN Kelly served as the Commander of United States Southern Command.
The above biography is meant to examine the success that GEN Kelly had and some exposition on how he might problem solve, though each could never be adequately explained in a blog post. Ultimately, GEN (ret) Kelly was confirmed as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and on July 28, 2017, Sec. Kelly was tapped to be President Trump's Chief of Staff, and he began that role on July 31, 2017, three days later. Also on July 31, 2017, the White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci, who had garnered fame by positioning himself as a vocal player in the Trump Administration who, inter alia, used expletives to media and spoke out against the then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was removed from his role. Scaramucci had allegedly stated that he did not report to the Chief of Staff, but rather, that he reported directly to the President, usurping the authority of the Chief of Staff by undercutting his power and role. That is, if the Chief of Staff is meant to serve as a vet of all information to the President, in addition to being, as the name states, the Chief of the President's Staff, then it follows that the Chief of Staff should have cognizance and control over all White House staff. Scaramucci existing outside the control of the White House Chief of Staff made performing the full duties of the White House Chief of Staff by GEN (ret) Kelly impossible.
In the coming days, there are sure to be stories about sequences of events, and who had whose trust, but apart from that, is it that surprising that a retired, prior enlisted, four-star Marine Corps General who was in command of people, military weapons, and fulfilling the United States' military mission across the globe for over thirty years followed his military training and immediately took charge of his post as White House Chief of Staff? By recommending to President Trump that an individual (Scaramucci) that challenged a superior in the White House chain of command (Priebus) and whose existence served as a challenge to fully taking charge of the role that GEN (ret) Kelly now occupied, GEN (ret) Kelly fulfilled one of the most basic responsibilities that every Private, Lieutenant, and General has - to take control of his post.
What's left to see is if his presence creates a more disciplined West Wing, in line with his military training and experience. Early thoughts discuss ground rules that GEN (ret) Kelly has set forth to consolidate control and better manage the mission of being the White House Chief of Staff, including rules that he placed on members of the First Family.