|United States Secretary of War|
Flag of the Secretary of War
|United States Department of War|
|Reports to||President of the United States|
|Appointer||The President |
with Senate advice and consent
|Term length||No fixed term|
|Precursor||Secretary at War|
|First holder||Henry Knox|
|Final holder||Kenneth C. Royall|
|Succession|| Secretary of the Army |
Secretary of the Air Force
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.
The secretary of war was the head of the War Department. At first, he was responsible for all military affairs, including naval affairs. In 1798, the secretary of the Navy was created by statute, and the scope of responsibility for this office was reduced to the affairs of the United States Army. From 1886 onward, the secretary of war was in the line of succession to the presidency, after the vice president of the United States, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the president pro tem of the Senate and the secretary of state.
In 1947, with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947, the secretary of war was replaced by the secretary of the Army and the secretary of the Air Force, which, along with the secretary of the Navy, have since 1949 been non-Cabinet subordinates under the secretary of defense. The secretary of the Army's office is generally considered the direct successor to the secretary of war's office although the secretary of defense took the secretary of war's position in the Cabinet, and the line of succession to the presidency.
The office of Secretary at War was modelled upon Great Britain's Secretary at War, who was William Barrington, 2nd Viscount Barrington, at the time of the American Revolution. The office of Secretary at War was meant to replace both the commander-in-chief and the Board of War, and like the president of the board, the secretary wore no special insignia. The inspector general, quartermaster general, commissary general, and adjutant general served on the secretary's staff. However, the Army itself under Secretary Henry Knox only consisted of 700 men.
|No.||Portrait||Name||State of residence||Took office||Left office||Congress|
|1||Benjamin Lincoln||Massachusetts||March 1, 1781||November 2, 1783||Congress of the Confederation|
|2||Henry Knox||Massachusetts||March 8, 1785||September 12, 1789|
No party (1) Federalist (3) Democratic-Republican (8) Democratic (14) Whig (5) Republican (25)
|No.||Portrait||Name||State of Residence||Took office||Left office||President(s)|
|1||Henry Knox||Massachusetts||September 12, 1789||December 31, 1794||George Washington|
|2||Timothy Pickering||Pennsylvania||January 2, 1795||December 10, 1795|
|3||James McHenry||Maryland||January 27, 1796||June 1, 1800|
|4||Samuel Dexter||Massachusetts||June 1, 1800||January 31, 1801|
|5||Henry Dearborn||Massachusetts||March 5, 1801||March 4, 1809||Thomas Jefferson|
|6||William Eustis||Massachusetts||March 7, 1809||January 13, 1813||James Madison|
|7||John Armstrong, Jr.||New York||January 13, 1813||September 27, 1814|
|8||James Monroe||Virginia||September 27, 1814||March 2, 1815|
|9||William H. Crawford||Georgia||August 1, 1815||October 22, 1816|
|10||John C. Calhoun||South Carolina||October 8, 1817||March 4, 1825||James Monroe|
|11||James Barbour||Virginia||March 7, 1825||May 23, 1828||John Quincy Adams|
|12||Peter Buell Porter||New York||May 23, 1828||March 9, 1829|
|13||John H. Eaton||Tennessee||March 9, 1829||June 18, 1831||Andrew Jackson|
|14||Lewis Cass||Ohio||August 1, 1831||October 5, 1836|
|15||Joel Roberts Poinsett||South Carolina||March 7, 1837||March 4, 1841||Martin Van Buren|
|16||John Bell||Tennessee||March 5, 1841||September 13, 1841||William Henry Harrison|
|17||John Canfield Spencer||New York||October 12, 1841||March 4, 1843|
|18||James Madison Porter||Pennsylvania||March 8, 1843||February 14, 1844|
|19||William Wilkins||Pennsylvania||February 15, 1844||March 4, 1845|
|20||William Learned Marcy||New York||March 6, 1845||March 4, 1849||James K. Polk|
|21||George W. Crawford||Georgia||March 8, 1849||July 22, 1850||Zachary Taylor|
|22||Charles Magill Conrad||Louisiana||August 15, 1850||March 4, 1853||Millard Fillmore|
|23||Jefferson Davis||Mississippi||March 7, 1853||March 4, 1857||Franklin Pierce|
|24||John B. Floyd||Virginia||March 6, 1857||December 29, 1860||James Buchanan|
|25||Joseph Holt||Kentucky||January 18, 1861||March 4, 1861|
|26||Simon Cameron||Pennsylvania||March 5, 1861||January 14, 1862||Abraham Lincoln|
|27||Edwin M. Stanton||Pennsylvania||January 20, 1862||May 28, 1868|
|28||John McAllister Schofield||Illinois||June 1, 1868||March 13, 1869|
|29||John Aaron Rawlins||Illinois||March 13, 1869||September 6, 1869||Ulysses S. Grant|
|30||William W. Belknap||Iowa||October 25, 1869||March 2, 1876|
|31||Alphonso Taft||Ohio||March 8, 1876||May 22, 1876|
|32||J. Donald Cameron||Pennsylvania||May 22, 1876||March 4, 1877|
|33||George W. McCrary||Iowa||March 12, 1877||December 10, 1879||Rutherford B. Hayes|
|34||Alexander Ramsey||Minnesota||December 10, 1879||March 4, 1881|
|35||Robert Todd Lincoln||Illinois||March 5, 1881||March 4, 1885||James A. Garfield|
|Chester A. Arthur|
|36||William Crowninshield Endicott||Massachusetts||March 5, 1885||March 4, 1889||Grover Cleveland|
|37||Redfield Proctor||Vermont||March 5, 1889||November 5, 1891||Benjamin Harrison|
|38||Stephen Benton Elkins||West Virginia||December 17, 1891||March 4, 1893|
|39||Daniel S. Lamont||New York||March 5, 1893||March 4, 1897||Grover Cleveland|
|40||Russell A. Alger||Michigan||March 5, 1897||August 1, 1899||William McKinley|
|41||Elihu Root||New York||August 1, 1899||January 31, 1904|
|42||William Howard Taft||Ohio||February 1, 1904||June 30, 1908|
|43||Luke Edward Wright||Tennessee||July 1, 1908||March 4, 1909|
|44||Jacob M. Dickinson||Tennessee||March 12, 1909||May 21, 1911||William Howard Taft|
|45||Henry L. Stimson||New York||May 22, 1911||March 4, 1913|
|46||Lindley Miller Garrison||New Jersey||March 5, 1913||February 10, 1916||Woodrow Wilson|
|47||Newton D. Baker||Ohio||March 9, 1916||March 4, 1921|
|48||John W. Weeks||Massachusetts||March 5, 1921||October 13, 1925||Warren G. Harding|
|49||Dwight F. Davis||Missouri||October 14, 1925||March 4, 1929|
|50||James William Good||Illinois||March 6, 1929||November 18, 1929||Herbert Hoover|
|51||Patrick J. Hurley||Oklahoma||December 9, 1929||March 4, 1933|
|52||George Dern||Utah||March 4, 1933||August 27, 1936||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|53||Harry Hines Woodring||Kansas||September 25, 1936||June 20, 1940|
|54||Henry L. Stimson||New York||July 10, 1940||September 21, 1945|
|Harry S. Truman|
|55||Robert P. Patterson||New York||September 27, 1945||July 18, 1947|
|56||Kenneth C. Royall||North Carolina||July 19, 1947||September 18, 1947|
The Democratic-Republican Party was an American political party founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the early 1790s that championed republicanism, political equality, and expansionism. The Democratic-Republicans became increasingly dominant after the 1800 elections as the opposing Federalist Party collapsed, and the party splintered during the 1824 presidential election. One faction of the Democratic-Republicans eventually coalesced into the modern Democratic Party, while the other faction ultimately formed the core of the Whig Party.
The Cabinet of the United States is part of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. The members of the Cabinet are the vice president and the secretary of state and other heads of the federal executive departments, all of whom — if eligible — are in the presidential line of succession.
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. The secretary of defense's position of command and authority over the U.S. military is second only to that of the president. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a defense minister in many other countries. 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.
In the United States, a Presidential Succession Act is a federal statute establishing the presidential line of succession. Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the United States Constitution authorizes Congress to enact such a statute:
... Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
Alexander Meigs Haig Jr. was the United States Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan and the White House chief of staff under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Prior to these cabinet-level positions, he retired as a general from the United States Army, having been Supreme Allied Commander Europe after serving as the vice chief of staff of the Army.
The United States presidential line of succession is the order in which officials of the United States federal government assume the powers and duties of the office of president of the United States if the incumbent president becomes incapacitated, dies, resigns, or is removed from office. Presidential succession is referred to multiple times in the U.S. Constitution – Article II, Section 1, Clause 6, as well as the 12th Amendment, 20th Amendment, and 25th Amendment. The vice president of the United States is designated as first in the presidential line of succession by the Article II succession clause, which also authorizes Congress to provide for a line of succession beyond the Vice President; it has done so on three occasions. The current Presidential Succession Act was adopted in 1947, and last revised in 2006.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense which advises the president of the United States, the secretary of defense, the Homeland Security Council and the National Security Council on military matters. The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by statute and consists of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), the military service chiefs from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, and the chief of the National Guard Bureau, all appointed by the president following Senate confirmation. Each of the individual military service chiefs, outside their Joint Chiefs of Staff obligations, works directly for the secretary of the military department concerned, i.e., secretary of the Army, secretary of the Navy, and the secretary of the Air Force.
The secretary of the Army is a senior civilian official within the Department of Defense of the United States with statutory responsibility for all matters relating to the United States Army: manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and equipment acquisition, communications, and financial management.
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.
William Franklin Knox was an American politician, newspaper editor and publisher. He was also the Republican vice presidential candidate in 1936, and Secretary of the Navy under Franklin D. Roosevelt during most of World War II. Knox was mentioned by name in Adolf Hitler's speech of December 11, 1941, in which Hitler asked for a German declaration of war against the United States.
The United States Department of Defense is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national security and the United States Armed Forces. The DoD is the largest employer in the world, with nearly 1.3 million active-duty service members as of 2016. More employees include over 826,000 National Guard and Reservists from the armed forces, 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 presidency of George Washington began on April 30, 1789, when Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States, and ended on March 4, 1797. Washington took office after the 1788–89 presidential election, the nation's first quadrennial presidential election, in which he was elected unanimously. Washington was re-elected unanimously in the 1792 presidential election, and chose to retire after two terms. He was succeeded by his vice president, John Adams of the Federalist Party.
The impeachment of Andrew Johnson was initiated on February 24, 1868, when the United States House of Representatives resolved to impeach Andrew Johnson, 17th president of the United States, for "high crimes and misdemeanors", which were detailed in eleven articles of impeachment. The primary charge against Johnson was violation of the Tenure of Office Act, passed by Congress in March 1867, over his veto. Specifically, he had removed from office Edwin M. Stanton, the Secretary of War—whom the Act was largely designed to protect—and attempted to replace him with Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas.
The Federalist Era in American history ran from 1788–1800, a time when the Federalist Party and its predecessors were dominant in American politics. During this period, Federalists generally controlled Congress and enjoyed the support of President George Washington and President John Adams. The era saw the creation of a new, stronger federal government under the United States Constitution, a deepening of support for nationalism, and diminished fears of tyranny by a central government. The era began with the ratification of the United States Constitution and ended with the Democratic-Republican Party's victory in the 1800 elections.
Superintendent of Finance of the United States was an executive office during the Confederation Period have the power similar to a Finance minister. The only person to hold the office was Robert Morris, who served from 1781 to 1784, with the assistance of Gouverneur Morris.
David E. McGiffert was a United States lawyer and Pentagon official who dealt with domestic security during the social upheavals of the late 1960s.
The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has a complex organizational structure. It includes the Army, Navy, the Marine Corps, 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.
The United States elections of 1788–89 were the first federal elections in the United States following the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788. In the elections, George Washington was elected as the first president and the members of the 1st United States Congress were selected.