Retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn talks to media as he arrives at Trump Tower, Nov. 17, 2016, in New York.
Retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn talks to media as he arrives at Trump Tower, Nov. 17, 2016, in New York.

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn was the single military figure of his rank and stature to publicly support President-elect Donald Trump throughout the election. That loyalty now appears to be paying off, as Trump has reportedly asked Flynn to serve as his national security adviser.

Flynn held a similar role as Trump’s go-to national security adviser during the campaign, and Flynn will likely play a big role in Trump’s foreign policy decisions moving forward, since Trump has no practical military experience.

A 57-year-old registered Democrat, Flynn is a decorated combat veteran who retired as a three star general.

Flynn began his military career in 1981 after graduating from the University of Rhode Island as a distinguished member of the school’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. He spent his military career as an intelligence officer in the Army, mostly at bases within the United States, but also was involved in missions in Grenada and Haiti.

Later, Flynn served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and held the top intelligence officer spot for the Joint Special Operations Command between 2004 and 2007.

Retired in 2014

After several years of successive promotions within Army intelligence operations, Flynn was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to be director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He held the position for two years before retiring in 2014 after reportedly being forced out for his poor management style.

Since retiring, Flynn has become a fierce opponent of Obama’s policy on Muslim extremists, particularly his handling of the spreading Islamic State group. Flynn has accused Obama of willfully allowing it to happen.

Under fire for comments about Muslims

Flynn has been criticized for some of his statements about Muslims in general, including a February tweet in which Flynn called the fear of Muslims “rational.”

The tweet further implored Flynn’s more than 75,000 Twitter followers to share an attached five-minute YouTube video that listed terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims and claimed the Islamic religion wants to enslave or exterminate 80 percent of the population.