United States Secretary of Defense

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United States Secretary of Defense
United States Department of Defense Seal.svg
Seal of the Department [1]
Flag of the United States Secretary of Defense.svg
Patrick Shanahan (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Patrick M. Shanahan
Acting

since January 1, 2019
United States Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Style Mr. Secretary
StatusLeader and chief executive
Member of Cabinet
National Security Council
Reports to President of the United States
Seat The Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument 10 U.S.C.   § 113
50 U.S.C.   § 401
FormationSeptember 17, 1947 (1947-09-17)
First holder James Forrestal
Succession Sixth [3]
Deputy Deputy Secretary of Defense
Salary Executive Schedule, level I [4]
Website www.defense.gov

The Secretary of Defense (SecDef) is the leader and chief executive officer of the United States Department of Defense, the executive department of the Armed Forces of the U.S. [5] [6] [7] The Secretary of Defense's position of command and authority over the U.S. military is second only to that of the President and Congress, respectively. [8] This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in many other countries. [9] The Secretary of Defense is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and is by custom a member of the Cabinet and by law a member of the National Security Council. [10]

Chief executive officer highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator

The chief executive officer (CEO), or just chief executive (CE), is the most senior corporate, executive, or administrative officer in charge of managing an organization – especially an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution. CEOs lead a range of organizations, including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and even some government organizations. The CEO of a corporation or company typically reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the entity, which may include maximizing the share price, market share, revenues, or another element. In the non-profit and government sector, CEOs typically aim at achieving outcomes related to the organization's mission, such as reducing poverty, increasing literacy, etc.

United States Department of Defense United States federal executive department

The Department of Defense is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government concerned directly with national security and the United States Armed Forces. The department is the largest employer in the world, with nearly 1.3 million active duty servicemen and women as of 2016. Adding to its employees are over 826,000 National Guardsmen and Reservists from the four services, and over 732,000 civilians bringing the total to over 2.8 million employees. Headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., the DoD's stated mission is to provide "the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security".

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States.

Contents

Secretary of Defense is a statutory office, and the general provision in 10 U.S.C.   § 113 provides that the Secretary of Defense has "authority, direction and control over the Department of Defense", and is further designated by the same statute as "the principal assistant to the President in all matters relating to the Department of Defense". [11] To ensure civilian control of the military, no one may be appointed as Secretary of Defense within seven years of serving as a commissioned officer of a regular (i.e., non-reserve) component of an armed force. [12]

Title 10 of the United States Code outlines the role of armed forces in the United States Code. It provides the legal basis for the roles, missions and organization of each of the services as well as the United States Department of Defense. Each of the five subtitles deals with a separate aspect or component of the armed services.

Civilian control of the military is a doctrine in military and political science that places ultimate responsibility for a country's strategic decision-making in the hands of the civilian political leadership, rather than professional military officers. The reverse situation, where professional military officers control national politics, is called a military dictatorship. A lack of control over the military may result in a state within a state. One author, paraphrasing Samuel P. Huntington's writings in The Soldier and the State, has summarized the civilian control ideal as "the proper subordination of a competent, professional military to the ends of policy as determined by civilian authority".

Officer (armed forces) member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority

An officer is a member of an armed forces or uniformed service who holds a position of authority.

Subject only to the orders of the President, the Secretary of Defense is in the chain of command and exercises command and control, for both operational and administrative purposes, over all Department of Defense forces — the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force — as well as the U.S. Coast Guard when its command and control is transferred to the Department of Defense. [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] Only the Secretary of Defense (or the president or Congress) can authorize the transfer of operational control of forces between the three Military Departments (the departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force) and the 10 Combatant Commands (Africa Command, Central Command, European Command, Indo-Pacific Command, Northern Command, Southern Command, Cyber Command, Special Operations Command, Strategic Command, Transportation Command). [13] Because the Office of Secretary of Defense is vested with legal powers which exceed those of any commissioned officer, and is second only to the President in the military hierarchy, its incumbent has sometimes unofficially been referred to as a de facto "deputy commander-in-chief". [18] [19] [20] (The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military adviser to the Secretary of Defense and the President, and while the Chairman may assist the Secretary and President in their command functions, the Chairman is not in the chain of command. [21] )

Command and control or C2 is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ... [that] employs human, physical, and information resources to solve problems and accomplish missions" to achieve the goals of an organization or enterprise, according to a 2015 definition by military scientists Marius Vassiliou, David S. Alberts and Jonathan R. Agre, The term often refers to a military system.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

United States Marine Corps Amphibious warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines or U.S. Marines, is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations with the United States Navy as well as the Army and Air Force. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the four armed service branches in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.

The Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of the Treasury are generally regarded as heading the four most important departments. [22]

United States Secretary of State U.S. cabinet member and head of the U.S. State Department

The Secretary of State is a senior official of the federal government of the United States of America, and as head of the United States Department of State, is principally concerned with foreign policy and is considered to be the U.S. government's equivalent of a Minister for Foreign Affairs.

United States Attorney General Head of the United States Department of Justice

The United States Attorney General (A.G.) is the chief lawyer of the federal government of the United States and head of the United States Department of Justice per 28 U.S.C. § 503, concerned with all legal affairs.

United States Secretary of the Treasury

The Secretary of the Treasury is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also included several federal law enforcement agencies. This position in the federal government of the United States is analogous to the Minister of Finance in many other countries. The Secretary of the Treasury is a member of the President's Cabinet, and is nominated by the President of the United States. Nominees for Secretary of the Treasury undergo a confirmation hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Finance before being voted on by the United States Senate.

Since January 1, 2019, the Secretary of Defense has been Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan, serving in an acting capacity. [23] His predecessor, Jim Mattis, resigned on December 20, 2018, effective February 2019, after failing to persuade President Donald Trump to reconsider a decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. [24] [25] A few days later, Trump announced that Mattis would leave at the end of December. [26]

United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Secretary at the Department of Defense

The Deputy Secretary of Defense is a statutory office and the second-highest-ranking official in the Department of Defense of the United States of America.

Patrick M. Shanahan Acting United States Secretary of Defense

Patrick Michael Shanahan is an American government official serving as acting United States Secretary of Defense since 2019. President Donald Trump appointed Shanahan to the role after the resignation of Retired General James N. Mattis. Shanahan served as Deputy Secretary of Defense from 2017 to 2019. He previously spent thirty years at Boeing in a variety of roles.

Jim Mattis former United States Secretary of Defense and former United States Marine Corps general

James Norman Mattis is an American veteran and former government official who served as the 26th United States Secretary of Defense from January 2017 through December 2018. He resigned over policy differences with President Donald Trump. A retired United States Marine Corps general, Mattis served in the Persian Gulf War, War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War.

History

Seal of the National Military Establishment (1947–1949), which was reorganized into the Department of Defense. National Military Establishment seal 1947-1949.png
Seal of the National Military Establishment (1947–1949), which was reorganized into the Department of Defense.

An Army, Navy, and Marine Corps were established in 1775, in concurrence with the American Revolution. The War Department, headed by the Secretary of War, was created by Act of Congress in 1789 and was responsible for both the Army and Navy until the founding of a separate Department of the Navy in 1798.

American Revolution Political upheaval, 1775–1783

The American Revolution was a colonial revolt that took place between 1765 and 1783. The American Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies won independence from Great Britain, becoming the United States of America. They defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) in alliance with France and others.

United States Department of War Former US government agency

The United States Department of War, also called the War Department, was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army, also bearing responsibility for naval affairs until the establishment of the Navy Department in 1798, and for most land-based air forces until the creation of the Department of the Air Force on September 18, 1947.

United States Secretary of War

The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War", had been appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation between 1781 and 1789. Benjamin Lincoln and later Henry Knox held the position. When Washington was inaugurated as the first president under the Constitution, he appointed Knox to continue serving as Secretary of War.

Based on the experiences of World War II, proposals were soon made on how to more effectively manage the large combined military establishment. The Army generally favored centralization while the Navy had institutional preferences for decentralization and the status quo. The resulting National Security Act of 1947 was largely a compromise between these divergent viewpoints. The Act split the Department of War into the Department of the Army and Department of the Navy and established the National Military Establishment (NME), presided over by the Secretary of Defense. The Act also separated the Army Air Forces from the Army to become its own branch of service, the United States Air Force. At first, each of the service secretaries maintained cabinet status. The first Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, who in his previous capacity as Secretary of the Navy had opposed creation of the new position, found it difficult to exercise authority over the other branches with the limited powers his office had at the time. To address this and other problems, the National Security Act was amended in 1949 to further consolidate the national defense structure in order to reduce interservice rivalry, directly subordinate the Secretaries of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force to the Secretary of Defense in the chain of command, and rename the National Military Establishment as the Department of Defense, making it one Executive Department. The position of the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the number two position in the department, was also created at this time.

The general trend since 1949 has been to further centralize management in the Department of Defense, elevating the status and authorities of civilian OSD appointees and defense-wide organizations at the expense of the military departments and the services within them. The last major revision of the statutory framework concerning the position was done in the Goldwater–Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986. In particular, it elevated the status of joint service for commissioned officers, making it in practice a requirement before appointments to general officer and flag officer grades could be made.

Powers and functions

The Secretary of War [now Secretary of Defense] is the regular constitutional organ of the President for the administration of the military establishment of the nation; and rules and orders publicly promulgated through him must be received as the acts of the executive, and as such, be binding upon all within the sphere of his legal and constitutional authority. Such regulations cannot be questioned or denied because they may be thought unwise or mistaken.

United States v. Eliason, 41 U.S. 291 (1842)

Nor is it necessary for the Secretary of War [now Secretary of Defense] in promulgating such rules or orders to state that they emanate from the President, for the presumption is that the Secretary is acting with the President's approbation and under his direction.

In re Brodie, 128 Fed. 668 (CCA 8th 1904)

Department of Defense organizational chart (December 2013) DoD Organization December 2013.jpg
Department of Defense organizational chart (December 2013)

The Secretary of Defense, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, is by federal law (10 U.S.C.   § 113) the head of the Department of Defense, "the principal assistant to the President in all matters relating to Department of Defense", and has "authority, direction and control over the Department of Defense". Because the Constitution vests all military authority in Congress and the President, the statutory authority of the Secretary of Defense is derived from their constitutional authorities. Since it is impractical for either Congress or the President to participate in every piece of Department of Defense affairs, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary's subordinate officials generally exercise military authority.

As the head of DoD, all officials, employees and service members are "under" the Secretary of Defense. Some of those high-ranking officials, civil and military (outside of OSD and the Joint Staff) are: the Secretary of the Army, Secretary of the Navy, and Secretary of the Air Force, Army Chief of Staff, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Chief of Naval Operations, and Air Force Chief of Staff, Chief of the National Guard Bureau and the Combatant Commanders of the Combatant Commands. All of these high-ranking positions, civil and military, require Senate confirmation.

The Department of Defense is composed of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and the Joint Staff (JS), Office of the Inspector General (DODIG), the Combatant Commands, the Military Departments (Department of the Army (DA), Department of the Navy (DON) & Department of the Air Force (DAF)), the Defense Agencies and DoD Field Activities, the National Guard Bureau (NGB), and such other offices, agencies, activities, organizations, and commands established or designated by law, or by the President or by the Secretary of Defense.

Department of Defense Directive 5100.01 describes the organizational relationships within the Department, and is the foundational issuance for delineating the major functions of the Department. The latest version, signed by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in December 2010, is the first major re-write since 1987. [27] [28]

Office of the Secretary of Defense

The Secretary's principally civilian staff element is called the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and is composed of the Deputy Secretary of Defense (DEPSECDEF) and five Under Secretaries of Defense in the fields of Acquisition, Technology & Logistics, Comptroller/Chief Financial Officer, Intelligence, Personnel & Readiness, and Policy; several Assistant Secretaries of Defense; other directors and the staffs under them.

The name of the principally military staff organization, organized under the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the Joint Staff (JS).

Awards and decorations

The Defense Distinguished Service Medal (DDSM), the Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM), the Joint Service Commendation Medal (JSCM) and the Joint Service Achievement Medal (JSAM) are awarded, to military personnel for service in joint duty assignments, in the name of the Secretary of Defense. In addition, there is the Joint Meritorious Unit Award (JMUA), which is the only ribbon (as in non-medal) and unit award issued to joint DoD activities, also issued in the name of the Secretary of Defense.

The DDSM is analogous to the distinguished services medals issued by the military departments (i.e. Army Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal & Air Force Distinguished Service Medal), the DSSM corresponds to the Legion of Merit, the DMSM to the Meritorious Service Medal, the JSCM to the service commendation medals, and the JSAM to the achievement medals issued by the services. While the approval authority for DSSM, DMSM, JSCM, JSAM and JMUA is delegated to inferior DoD officials: the DDSM can only be awarded by the Secretary of Defense.

Recommendations for the Medal of Honor (MOH), formally endorsed in writing by the Secretary of the Military Department concerned and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are processed through the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and such recommendations be must approved by the Secretary of Defense before it can be handed over to the President, who is the final approval authority for the MOH, although it is awarded in the name of Congress.

The Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, is the approval authority for the acceptance and wear of NATO medals issued by the Secretary General of NATO and offered to the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO in recognition of U.S. Service members who meet the eligibility criteria specified by NATO. [29]

Congressional committees

As the head of the department, the Secretary of Defense is the chief witness for the congressional committees with oversight responsibilities over the Department of Defense. The most important committees, with respect to the entire department, are the two authorizing committees, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), and the two appropriations committees, the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.

For the DoD intelligence programs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have the principal oversight role.

National Security Council

The Secretary of Defense is a statutory member of the National Security Council. [30] As one of the principals, the Secretary along with the Vice President, Secretary of State and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs participates in biweekly Principals Committee (PC) meetings, preparing and coordinating issues before they are brought before full NSC sessions chaired by the President.

Role in the military justice system

The Secretary is one of only five or six civilians—the others being the President, the three "service secretaries" (the Secretary of the Army, Secretary of the Navy, and Secretary of the Air Force), and the Secretary of Homeland Security (when the United States Coast Guard is under the United States Department of Homeland Security and has not been transferred to the Department of the Navy under the Department of Defense)—authorized to act as convening authority in the military justice system for General Courts-Martial (10 U.S.C.   § 822: article 22, UCMJ), Special Courts-Martial (10 U.S.C.   § 823: article 23, UCMJ), and Summary Courts-Martial (10 U.S.C.   § 824: article 24 UCMJ).

Amenities

Salary

Secretary of Defense is a Level I position of the Executive Schedule, [4] and thus earns a salary of $210,700 per year as of January 2018.

List of Secretaries of Defense

The longest-serving Secretary of Defense is Robert McNamara, who served for a total of 2,595 days. Combining his two non-sequential services as Secretary of Defense, the second longest serving is Donald Rumsfeld, who served just ten days fewer than McNamara. The shortest-serving Secretary of Defense is Elliot Richardson, who was quickly moved to US Attorney General after 114 days due to resignations during the Watergate Scandal (not counting Deputy Secretary of Defense William P. Clements and William Howard Taft IV, who each served a few weeks as temporary/acting Secretary of Defense).

Parties

   Democratic    Republican    Political Independent / Unknown

Status
  Denotes an Acting Secretary of Defense
No.PortraitNameState of residenceTook officeLeft officeDays served President
serving under
1 James Forrestal - SecOfDef.jpg James Forrestal New York September 17, 1947March 28, 1949 [31] 558 Harry S Truman
2 Louis Johnson official DoD photo.jpg Louis A. Johnson West Virginia March 28, 1949September 19, 1950 [32] 540
3 General George C. Marshall, official military photo, 1946.JPEG George Marshall Pennsylvania September 21, 1950September 12, 1951 [33] 356
4 Robert A. Lovett cph.3a47036.jpg Robert A. Lovett New York September 17, 1951January 20, 1953 [34] 491
5 Charles Wilson official DoD photo.jpg Charles Erwin Wilson Michigan January 28, 1953October 8, 1957 [35] 1714 Dwight D. Eisenhower
6 Neil McElroy official DoD photo.jpg Neil H. McElroy Ohio October 9, 1957December 1, 1959 [36] 783
7 Thomas S Gates Jr..jpg Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Pennsylvania December 2, 1959January 20, 1961 [37] 415
8 Robert McNamara official portrait.jpg Robert McNamara Michigan January 21, 1961February 29, 1968 [38] 1035 John F. Kennedy
1560
(2595 total)
Lyndon B. Johnson
9 Clark Clifford photo portrait.jpg Clark Clifford Maryland March 1, 1968January 20, 1969 [39] 325
10 Melvin Laird official photo.JPEG Melvin R. Laird Wisconsin January 22, 1969January 29, 1973 [40] 1468 Richard Nixon
11 ElliotLeeRichardson.jpg Elliot Richardson Massachusetts January 30, 1973May 24, 1973 [41] 114
Bill Clements.jpg Bill Clements [42]
Acting
Texas May 24, 1973July 2, 1973[ citation needed ]39
12 James Schlesinger official DoD photo.jpg James R. Schlesinger Virginia July 2, 1973November 19, 1975 [43] 403
467
(870 total)
Gerald Ford
13 Rumsfeld Ford admin Secretary of Defense.jpg Donald Rumsfeld Illinois November 20, 1975January 20, 1977 [44] 427
(2585 total)
14 Harold Brown photo portrait standing.jpg Harold Brown California January 21, 1977January 20, 1981 [45] 1460 Jimmy Carter
15 Caspar Weinberger official photo.jpg Caspar Weinberger California January 21, 1981November 23, 1987 [46] 2497 Ronald Reagan
16 Frank Carlucci official portrait.JPEG Frank Carlucci Virginia November 23, 1987January 20, 1989 [47] 424
William Howard Taft IV, Deptuty Secretary of Defense, official portrait.JPEG William Howard Taft IV
Acting
Ohio January 20, 1989March 21, 1989 [48] 60 George H. W. Bush
17 Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney, official portrait.jpg Dick Cheney Wyoming March 21, 1989January 20, 1993 [49] 1401
18 Les Aspin official DoD photo.jpg Leslie Aspin Wisconsin January 21, 1993February 3, 1994 [50] 378 Bill Clinton
19 William Perry official DoD photo.jpg William Perry Pennsylvania February 3, 1994January 23, 1997 [51] / January 24, 1997 [52] 1085
20 William Cohen, official portrait (cropped).jpg William Cohen Maine January 24, 1997January 20, 2001 [53] 1457
21 Rumsfeld1 (cropped).jpg Donald Rumsfeld Illinois January 20, 2001December 18, 2006 [54] 2158
(2585 total)
George W. Bush
22 Robert Gates, official DoD photo portrait, 2006 (cropped).jpg Robert Gates Texas December 18, 2006June 30, 2011 [55] 764
891
(1655 total)
Barack Obama
23 Leon Panetta, official DoD photo portrait, 2011 (cropped).jpg Leon Panetta California July 1, 2011February 26, 2013 [56] 606
24 Chuck Hagel Defense portrait (cropped).jpg Chuck Hagel Nebraska February 27, 2013February 17, 2015 [57] 720
25 Ash Carter DOD Secretary Portrait (cropped).jpg Ash Carter Massachusetts February 17, 2015January 20, 2017 [58] 703
26 James Mattis official photo (cropped).jpg Jim Mattis Washington January 20, 2017 [59] December 31, 2018710 Donald Trump
Patrick Shanahan (cropped).jpg Patrick M. Shanahan
Acting
Washington [60] January 1, 2019Present43

Succession

Presidential succession

The Secretary of Defense is sixth in the presidential line of succession, following the Secretary of the Treasury and preceding the Attorney General. [61]

Secretary of Defense succession

In Executive Order 13533 of March 1, 2010, President Barack Obama modified the line of succession regarding who would act as Secretary of Defense in the event of a vacancy or incapacitation, thus reversing the changes made by President George W. Bush in Executive Order 13394 as to the relative positions of the Secretaries of the Military Departments. All of the officials in the line of succession are civilians appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate:

Executive Order 13533 (March 1, 2010 – present)

#Office
Secretary of Defense
1 Deputy Secretary of Defense
2 Secretary of the Army
3 Secretary of the Navy
4 Secretary of the Air Force
5 Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
6 Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
7 Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
8 Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
9 Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
10Deputy Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense
11Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
12Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
13Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
14Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
15Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
16 Director of Defense Research and Engineering
17 General Counsel of the Department of Defense
Assistant Secretaries of Defense
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs
Director of Operational Test and Evaluation
Director of Operational Energy Plans and Programs
and the Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation
18 Under Secretary of the Army
Under Secretary of the Navy
and the Under Secretary of the Air Force
19 Assistant Secretaries of the Army
Assistant Secretaries of the Navy
Assistant Secretaries of the Air Force
General Counsel of the Army
General Counsel of the Navy
and the General Counsel of the Air Force

Executive Order 13394 (December 22, 2005 – March 1, 2010)

#Office
Secretary of Defense
1 Deputy Secretary of Defense
2 Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
3 Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
4 Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
5 Secretary of the Army
6 Secretary of the Air Force
7 Secretary of the Navy
8 Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
and the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
9Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology
Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
and the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
10 General Counsel of the Department of Defense
Assistant Secretaries of Defense
and the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation
11Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Material Readiness
and the Director of Defense Research and Engineering
12 Under Secretary of the Army
Under Secretary of the Navy
and the Under Secretary of the Air Force
13 Assistant Secretaries of the Army
Assistant Secretaries of the Navy
Assistant Secretaries of the Air Force
General Counsel of the Army
General Counsel of the Navy
and the General Counsel of the Air Force

Living former Secretaries of Defense

As of February 2019, there are nine living former Secretaries of Defense, the oldest being William Perry (1994–1997, born 1927). The most recent Secretary of Defense to die was Harold Brown (1977–1981), on January 4, 2019.

NameTerm of officeDate of birth (and age)
Donald Rumsfeld 1975–1977, 2001–20069 July 1932 (age 86)
Dick Cheney 1989–199330 January 1941 (age 78)
William Perry 1994–199711 October 1927 (age 91)
William Cohen 1997–200128 August 1940 (age 78)
Robert Gates 2006–201125 September 1943 (age 75)
Leon Panetta 2011–201328 June 1938 (age 80)
Chuck Hagel 2013–20154 October 1946 (age 72)
Ash Carter 2015–201724 September 1954 (age 64)
Jim Mattis 2017–20188 September 1950 (age 68)

See also

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The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is, by U.S. law, the highest-ranking and senior-most military officer in the United States Armed Forces and is the principal military advisor to the President, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense. While the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff outranks all other commissioned officers, they are prohibited by law from having operational command authority over the armed forces; however, the Chairman does assist the President and the Secretary of Defense in exercising their command functions.

Chief of Staff of the United States Army statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army

The Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA) is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army. As the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, the CSA is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army. In a separate capacity, the CSA is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and, thereby, a military advisor to the National Security Council, the Secretary of Defense, and the President of the United States. The CSA is typically the highest-ranking officer on active-duty in the U.S. Army unless the Chairman or the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are Army officers.

Goldwater–Nichols Act United States law strengthening civilian authority in the Department of Defense

The Goldwater–Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of October 4, 1986 Pub.L. 99–433,, made the most sweeping changes to the United States Department of Defense since the department was established in the National Security Act of 1947 by reworking the command structure of the United States military. It increased the powers of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and implemented some of the suggestions from the Packard Commission, commissioned by President Reagan in 1985. Among other changes, Goldwater–Nichols streamlined the military chain of command, which now runs from the President through the Secretary of Defense directly to combatant commanders, bypassing the service chiefs. The service chiefs were assigned to an advisory role to the President and the Secretary of Defense as well as given the responsibility for training and equipping personnel for the unified combatant commands.

Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force Statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Air Force

The Chief of Staff of the Air Force is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Air Force, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Air Force, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Air Force; and is in a separate capacity a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and thereby a military adviser to the National Security Council, the Secretary of Defense, and the President. The Chief of Staff is typically the highest-ranking officer on active duty in the Air Force unless the Chairman and/or the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are Air Force officers.

United States Department of the Army department within the Department of Defense of the United States of America

The Department of the Army (DA) is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Department of the Army is the Federal Government agency within which the United States Army is organized, and it is led by the Secretary of the Army, who has statutory authority under 10 U.S.C. § 3013 to conduct its affairs and to prescribe regulations for its government, subject to the limits of the law, and the directions of the Secretary of Defense and the President.

Unified combatant command United States Department of Defense command

A unified combatant command (UCC) is a United States Department of Defense command that is composed of forces from at least two Military Departments and has a broad and continuing mission. These commands are established to provide effective command and control of U.S. military forces, regardless of branch of service, in peace and war. They are organized either on a geographical basis or on a functional basis, such as special operations, power projection, or transport. UCCs are "joint" commands with specific badges denoting their affiliation.

John D. Altenburg United States general

John D. Altenburg Jr. is a lawyer for the U.S. Army and a retired Major General. In December 2003, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld named Altenburg as the appointing authority for military commissions covering detainees at Guantanamo. He resigned, effective November 10, 2006.

Susan Livingstone American government official

Susan Morrisey Livingstone is a former Acting U.S. Secretary of the Navy in the George W. Bush administration from January-February 2003. She was the first woman to become Secretary of the Navy in U.S. history. Livingstone played a role in the effort to end coercive and abusive interrogation tactics at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. At the time, as Under Secretary of the Navy, Livingstone oversaw a large management portfolio, which included lawyers in the Navy General Counsel's office and investigators at the Naval Criminal Investigative Service who raised concerns about the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

Daniel W. Christman United States general

Daniel William Christman is a retired United States Army lieutenant general, former Superintendent of the United States Military Academy (1996–2001), and the current Senior Vice President for International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A 1965 graduate of West Point, he went on to earn multiple post-graduate degrees and hold numerous commands during his army career. Christman served in highly visible and strategically important positions and four times was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the nation's highest peacetime service award.

Organizational structure of the United States Department of Defense

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has a complex organizational structure. It includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, the Unified combatant commands, U.S. elements of multinational commands, as well as non-combat agencies such as the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. The DoD's annual budget was roughly US$496.1 billion in 2015. This figure is the base amount and does not include the $64.3 billion spent on "War/Non-War Supplementals". Including those items brings the total to $560.6 billion for 2015.

References

Footnotes

  1. Trask & Goldberg: p. 177.
  2. http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/UniformedServices/Flags/Pos_Colors_DoD.aspx Archived May 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine , accessed on January 4, 2012.
  3. "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act".
  4. 1 2 5 U.S.C.   § 5312.
  5. 10 U.S.C.   § 113.
  6. DoDD 5100.1: Enclosure 2: a
  7. 5 U.S.C.   § 101.
  8. Trask & Goldberg: p.11
  9. "NATO - member countries". NATO . Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  10. 50 U.S.C.   § 402.
  11. 10 U.S.C.   § 113
  12. The National Security Act of 1947 originally required an interval of ten years after relief from active duty, which was reduced to seven years by Sec. 903(a) of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. In 1950 Congress passed special legislation (Pub. Law 81-788) to allow George C. Marshall to serve as Secretary of Defense while remaining a commissioned officer on the active list of the Army (Army regulations kept all five-star generals on active duty for life), but warned:
    It is hereby expressed as the intent of the Congress that the authority granted by this Act is not to be construed as approval by the Congress of continuing appointments of military men to the office of Secretary of Defense in the future. It is hereby expressed as the sense of the Congress that after General Marshall leaves the office of Secretary of Defense, no additional appointments of military men to that office shall be approved.
    Defenselink bio, Retrieved February 8, 2010; and Marshall Foundation bio, Retrieved February 8, 2010.
  13. 1 2 10 U.S.C.   § 162
  14. Joint Publication 1: II-9, II-10 & II-11.
  15. 10 U.S.C.   § 3011
  16. 10 U.S.C.   § 5011
  17. 10 U.S.C.   § 8011
  18. Trask & Goldberg: pp.11 & 52
  19. Cohen: p.231.
  20. Korb, Lawrence J.; Ogden, Pete (2006-10-31). "Rumsfeld's Management Failures". Center for American Progress. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  21. 10 U.S.C.   § 152
  22. Cabinets and Counselors: The President and the Executive Branch (1997). Congressional Quarterly. p. 87.
  23. "Patrick M. Shanahan - Acting Secretary of Defense". United States Department of Defense. January 1, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  24. Cooper, Helene (December 20, 2018). "Jim Mattis, Marine General Turned Defense Secretary, Will Leave Pentagon in February". The New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  25. O'Brien, Connor; Bender, Brien (December 20, 2018). "Mattis breaks with Trump in resignation letter". POLITICO. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  26. Trump, Donald J. (2018-12-23). "I am pleased to announce that our very talented Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, will assume the title of Acting Secretary of Defense starting January 1, 2019. Patrick has a long list of accomplishments while serving as Deputy, & previously Boeing. He will be great!". @realDonaldTrump. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  27. Department of Defense Directive 5100.01 Functions of the Department of Defense and Its Major Components
  28. DoDD 5100.1: p.1.
  29. DoDM 1348.33, Vol 3: p.39 (Enclosure 3)
  30. 50 U.S.C.   § 402
  31. "James V. Forrestal - Harry S. Truman Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  32. "Louis A. Johnson - Harry S. Truman Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  33. "George C. Marshall - Harry S. Truman Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  34. "Robert A. Lovett - Harry S. Truman Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  35. "Charles E. Wilson - Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  36. "Neil H. McElroy -Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  37. "Thomas S. Gates, Jr. - Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  38. "Robert S. McNamara - John F. Kennedy / Lyndon Johnson Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  39. "Clark M. Gifford - Lyndon Johnson Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  40. "Melvin R. Laird - Richard Nixon Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  41. "Elliot L. Richardson - Richard Nixon Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  42. Cantwell, Gerald T. Citizen Airmen: A History of the Air Force Reserve 1946–1994. DIANE Publishing. p. 252. In June 1973, Representative O. C. Fisher complained to William P. Clements, Jr., acting Secretary of Defense, that the authority, responsibility, and, consequently, effectiveness of the chiefs of the various reserve components seemed to be eroding.
  43. "James R. Schlesinger - Richard Nixon / Gerald Ford Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  44. "Donald H. Rumsfeld - Gerald Ford Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  45. "Harold Brown - James Carter Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  46. "Caspar W. Weinberger - Ronald Reagan Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  47. "Frank C. Carlucci - Ronald Reagan Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  48. "II. Secretaries of Defense" (PDF). Washington Headquarters Services - Pentagon Digital Library. p. 9. (Deputy Secretary of Defense William H. Taft served as acting secretary of defense from 20 January 1989 until 21 March 1989).
  49. "Richard B. Cheney - George H.W. Bush Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  50. "Leslie Aspin - William J. Clinton Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  51. "William J. Perry - William J. Clinton Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  52. "II. Secretaries of Defense" (PDF). Washington Headquarters Services - Pentagon Digital Library. p. 10. Sworn in as secretary of defense on 3 February 1994 and served until 24 January 1997.
  53. "William S. Cohen - William J. Clinton Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  54. "Donald H. Rumsfeld - George W. Bush Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  55. "Robert M. Gates - George W. Bush / Barack Obama Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  56. "Leon E. Panetta - Barack Obama Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  57. "Chuck Hagel - Barack Obama Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  58. "Ashton B. Carter - Barack Obama Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  59. "James N. Mattis - Donald Trump Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense - Historical Office.
  60. "PN583 — Patrick M. Shanahan — Department of Defense". United States Congress. July 18, 2017. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  61. 3 U.S.C.   § 19.

Sources

Federal law

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Further reading

Primary historical sources

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