The same statute further designates the secretary as "the principal assistant to the President in all matters relating to the Department of Defense". 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. Dr. Gates was the only Secretary of Defense in U.S. history to be asked to remain in … Prior to assuming the Texas A&M presidency, on August 1, 2002, he served as Interim Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001. North Andover, MA. The shortest-serving secretary of defense is Elliot Richardson, who served 114 days and then was appointed U.S. attorney general amid the resignations of the Watergate Scandal. The role was made in 1947. At first, each of the service secretaries maintained cabinet status. Secretary of Defense is a Level I position of the Executive Schedule, and thus earns a salary of $210,700 per year as of January 2018. Combining his two non-sequential services as the secretary of defense, the second-longest serving is Donald Rumsfeld, who served just ten days fewer than McNamara. Dr. Gates served as Director of Central Intelligence from 1991 until 1993. 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. § 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". As the head of DoD, all officials, employees and service members are "under" the secretary 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. Until becoming Secretary of Defense, Dr. Gates served as Chairman of the Independent Trustees of The Fidelity Funds, the nation's largest mutual fund company, and on the board of directors of NACCO Industries, Inc., Brinker International, Inc. and Parker Drilling Company, Inc. Dr. Gates has also served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the American Council on Education, the Board of Directors of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, and the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America. The longest-serving secretary of defense is Robert McNamara, who served for a total of 7 years, 39 days. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a defense minister in many other countries. It is one of the longest serving continuously operating offices in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and has been recognized for the excellence of its publications and programs for over a half century. President Barack Obama was the eighth president Dr. Gates served. The DDSM is analogous to the distinguished services medals issued by the military departments (i.e. The longest-serving secretary of defense is Robert McNamara, who served for a total of 7 years, 39 days. 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. It renamed the Department of War the Department of the Army, and added both it and the Department of the Navy to a newly established National Military Establishment (NME). 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. He has also been President of the National Eagle Scout Association. Secretary Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional. 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 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. 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.  To ensure civilian control of the military, no one may be appointed as the secretary of defense within seven years of serving as a commissioned officer of a regular (i.e., non-reserve) component of an armed force. Former Defense Secretary William Cohen talks to CNN's Ana Cabrera about a letter signed by all 10 living former US defense secretaries declaring the presidential election over. 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. 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. *Order of Succession is determined by the seniority of officials in their role. Former Air Force secretary Heather Wilson was appointed to the board of director of Maxar Technologies Jan. 19, 2021. Credit: U.S. Air Force Wilson currently is … We have an extended conversation with former defense secretary William Cohen about the presidency, military and how to strengthen American democracy. , 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 military service branches – the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Space Force – as well as the U.S. Coast Guard when its command and control is transferred to the Department of Defense. The acting Defense Secretary, Christopher C. Miller, has ordered the director of the National Security Agency to immediately install Michael Ellis, a former … Congress granted the same waiver to President Donald Trump’s former Secretary of Defense … He is currently a William J. Perry Fellow at … Mahan, Erin R., and Jeffrey A. Larsen, eds. 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. The second-longest unbroken tenure was Caspar Weinberger's, at 6 years, 306 days. The United States Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) is the head of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Dr. Robert M. Gates served as U.S. Secretary of Defense from December 2006 to July 2011. Felter will guide 6K's … (This is not counting deputy secretaries of defense William P. Clements and William Howard Taft IV, who each served a few weeks as temporary/acting secretary of defense). § 824: article 24 UCMJ). During that period, he spent nearly nine years at the National Security Council, The White House, serving four presidents of both political parties. Department of Defense Test Resource Management Center, This page was last edited on 22 January 2021, at 00:20. Dr. Robert M. Gates served as U.S. Secretary of Defense from December 2006 to July 2011.  Because the Office of Secretary of Defense is vested with legal powers that 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". By Nick Visser Every living former secretary of defense, including two who served under President Donald Trump, signed an extraordinary rebuke of efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 election as the White House and many congressional Republicans prepare to contest the certification of the Electoral College vote on Wednesday. Former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano said that the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 was “incited” by President Donald Trump, and … Defenselink bio, Retrieved February 8, 2010; and Marshall Foundation bio, Retrieved February 8, 2010. Leader of the United States armed forces following the president, (including Defense Agencies and DoD Field Activities), List of United States Secretaries of Defense by time in office, Goldwater–Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, Organizational structure of the United States Department of Defense, Defense Agencies and DoD Field Activities, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, assistant to the president for national security affairs, United States Department of Homeland Security, Level I position of the Executive Schedule, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, General Counsel of the Department of Defense, Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System, National Security Strategy (United States), Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge, Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, Unconventional warfare (United States Department of Defense doctrine), US Commission on National Security/21st Century, "Positional Colors for the Department of Defense", "3 U.S. Code § 19 – Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act", "Lloyd Austin: retired army general nominated as Biden defense secretary", "Who is leading federal agencies until Senate confirms Biden's nominees", "Waiver of Statutory Qualifications Relating to Prior Military Service of the Secretary of Defense", "Why Generals Need Congressional Waivers To Become Defense Secretary", "Lloyd Austin Receives Waiver Allowing Him to Become Defense Chief", Department of Defense Directive 5100.01 Functions of the Department of Defense and Its Major Components, "James V. Forrestal – Harry S. Truman Administration", "Louis A. Johnson – Harry S. Truman Administration", "George C. Marshall – Harry S. Truman Administration", "Robert A. Lovett – Harry S. Truman Administration", "Charles E. Wilson – Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration", "Neil H. McElroy -Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration", "Thomas S. Gates, Jr. – Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration", "Robert S. McNamara – John F. Kennedy / Lyndon Johnson Administration", "Clark M. Gifford – Lyndon Johnson Administration", "Melvin R. Laird – Richard Nixon Administration", "Elliot L. Richardson – Richard Nixon Administration", "James R. Schlesinger – Richard Nixon / Gerald Ford Administration", "Donald H. Rumsfeld – Gerald Ford Administration", "Harold Brown – James Carter Administration", "Caspar W. Weinberger – Ronald Reagan Administration", "Frank C. Carlucci – Ronald Reagan Administration", "Richard B. Cheney – George H.W. Among the former Pentagon heads who signed on to the op-ed include both of President Trump’s defense secretaries, James Mattis and Mark Esper. The Army generally favored centralization while the Navy had institutional preferences for decentralization and the status quo. William Sebastian Cohen is an American politician, lawyer and author from the U.S. state of Maine. , President Joe Biden has nominated retired Army general Lloyd J. Austin III as the 28th United States secretary of defense. Political Independent / Unknown, The secretary of defense is sixth in the presidential line of succession, following the secretary of the treasury and preceding the attorney general. The name of the principally military staff organization, organized under the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the Joint Staff (JS). Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen tells CNN's Don Lemon that President Donald Trump's tendency towards misinformation is a threat to democracy in the United States. Dr. Gates was the only Secretary of Defense in U.S. history to be asked to remain in that office by a newly elected President. If confirmed, Austin would be the first African American to lead the Department of Defense. He explained why he thought Trump should step down.  Only the secretary of defense (or the president or Congress) can authorize the transfer of operational control of forces between the three military departments (Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, and Department of the 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). 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 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. servicemembers who meet the eligibility criteria specified by NATO.. , The secretary of the treasury, the secretary of state, the attorney general, and the secretary of defense are generally regarded as the four most important cabinet officials because of the size and importance of their respective departments. The order of succession is:, Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Chief Information Officer of the Department of Defense. Before becoming the Secretary of Defense, Dr. Gates was the President of Texas A&M University, the nation's seventh largest university. Republican , The secretary of defense is a statutory office, and the general provision in 10 U.S.C. The Historical Office of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) dates to 1949. The Act also separated the Army Air Forces from the Army to become its own branch of service, the United States Air Force.  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. , On December 10, 2020, President Donald Trump modified the order of succession for the office of Secretary of Defense in an Executive Order (unnumbered as of December 15, 2020). 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. The resulting National Security Act of 1947 was largely a compromise between these divergent viewpoints.  The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military adviser to the secretary of defense and the president; while the chairman may assist the secretary and president in their command functions, the chairman is not in the chain of command. From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insiders Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War. Bush.  The current acting secretary of defense is David Norquist, who assumed acting status following the inauguration of Joe Biden.. Described as "a Republican moderate from Maine, something of a maverick centrist" by David … The last major revision of the statutory framework concerning the position was done in the Goldwater–Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986. 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. 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 second-longest unbroken tenure was Caspar Weinberger's, at 6 years, 306 days. A native of Richland, Washington, Secretary Mattis enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve … § 823: article 23, UCMJ), and Summary Courts-Martial (10 U.S.C. As the secretary of defense is a cilivian position intended to independent of the active duty leadership, a secretary is required to have been retired from service for at least seven (originally ten) years, unless a waiver is approved by Congress. Strategic appointment is instrumental to advanced material innovation for defense and security product development for the United States. § 822: article 22, UCMJ), Special Courts-Martial (10 U.S.C. As a former Army officer and deputy assistant secretary of the Army for President George H.W. James N. Mattis served as the 26th Secretary of Defense. A Republican, Cohen served as both a member of the United States House of Representatives and Senate, and as Secretary of Defense under Democratic President Bill Clinton. In an extraordinary condemnation, the former defense secretary backs protesters and says the president is trying to turn Americans against one … A native of Kansas, Secretary Gates received his bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary, his master's degree in history from Indiana University, and his doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University. 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