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Joint Chiefs of Staff

From Academic Kids

The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a panel comprising the highest-ranking members of each major branch of the armed services in any particular country. The following information refers to the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Armed Forces, but similar arrangements are common in other nations.

The current Joint Chiefs of Staff are:

General Richard B. Myers Chairman U.S. Air Force
General Peter Pace Vice Chairman U.S. Marine Corps
General Pete Schoomaker Chief of Staff of the United States Army U.S. Army
Admiral Vern Clark Chief of Naval Operations U.S. Navy
General Michael W. Hagee Commandant of the Marine Corps U.S. Marine Corps
General John P. Jumper Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force U.S. Air Force


On July 20, 1942, Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy became the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy. He was not technically the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That post was established and first held by General of the Army Omar Bradley in 1949.

After the 1986 reorganization of the military undertaken by the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the Joint Chiefs of Staff do not have operational command of U.S. military forces. Responsibility for conducting military operations goes directly from the Secretary of Defense to the head of the United States combatant commands and the chain of command bypasses the Joint Chiefs of Staff completely. Today, their primary responsibility is to ensure the readiness of their respective military services. The Joint Chiefs of Staff also act in an advisory military capacity for the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense. In addition, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff acts as the chief military advisor to the President.

On April 22, 2005, at a White House press conference, President George W. Bush nominated General Peter Pace of the US Marine Corps to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Current Chairman Richard Myers will retire from the position on September 30, 2005. Pace will be the first Chairman from the Marine Corps.

On his nomination, Pace said, "This is an incredible moment for me. It is both exhilarating and humbling. It's exhilarating because I have the opportunity, if confirmed by the Senate, to continue to serve this great nation. It's humbling because I know the challenges ahead are formidable."


Past Chairmen

General of the Army Omar N. Bradley, USA August 16, 1949 August 15, 1953
Admiral Arthur W. Radford, USN August 15, 1953 August 15, 1957
General Nathan F. Twining, USAF August 15, 1957 September 30, 1960
General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, USA October 1, 1960 September 30, 1962
General Maxwell D. Taylor, USA October 1, 1962 July 1, 1964
General Earle G. Wheeler, USA July 3, 1964 July 2, 1970
Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, USN July 2, 1970 July 1, 1974
General George S. Brown, USAF July 1, 1974 June 20, 1978
General David C. Jones, USAF June 21, 1978 June 18, 1982
General John W. Vessey, Jr., USA June 18, 1982 September 30, 1985
Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., USN October 1, 1985 September 30, 1989
General Colin L. Powell, USA October 1, 1989 September 30, 1993
Admiral David E. Jeremiah, USN (acting) October 1, 1993 October 24, 1993
General John M. Shalikashvili, USA October 25, 1993 September 30, 1997
General Hugh Shelton, USA October 1, 1997 September 30, 2001
General Richard B. Myers, USAF October 1, 2001

External link

Further reading

  • Four Stars: The Inside Story of the Forty-Year Battle Between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and America's Civilian Leaders, Mark Perry, Houghton Mifflin, 1989, hardcover: 412 pages, ISBN 0395429234

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