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United States Secretary of Defense

From Academic Kids

The United States Secretary of Defense is the head of the United States Department of Defense, concerned with the armed services and military matters. The Secretary is appointed by the President with the approval of the Senate, and is a member of the Cabinet. By statute the secretary must be a civilian who has not served in the armed forces for at least 10 years (10 USC Sec. 113). The Secretary of Defense is sixth in the United States presidential line of succession.

This position was created in 1947 when the Navy, Army, and newly created Air Force were merged into the new National Military Establishment. In the same massive reorganization, the Secretary of War was replaced by the Secretary of the Army and, along with the Secretary of the Navy and the new Secretary of the Air Force, became a non-Cabinet position placed under the Secretary of Defense. In 1949, the National Military Establishment was renamed the Department of Defense, which remains the current name of the department.

Within the United States Armed Forces, the Secretary of Defense is often referred to as SecDef.

He is assisted by a Deputy Secretary and 5 Under Secretaries in the fields of Acquisition, Technology & Logistics; Comptroller/Chief Financial Officer; Intelligence; Personnel & Readiness; and arguably the most important, Policy. All of these positions require Senate confirmation.

The Secretary of Defense also supervises the six Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commanders of the nine Unified Commands (http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/unifiedcommand).

See here (http://www.defenselink.mil/osd/topleaders.html) for more information on each position and biographies of the current Deputy Secretary (DepSecDef) and Under Secretaries (USDs).


Secretaries of Defense
Name Term of Office President(s) served under
James V. Forrestal September 17, 1947 - March 28, 1949 Harry S. Truman
Louis A. Johnson March 28, 1949 - September 19, 1950 Harry S. Truman
George C. Marshall September 21, 1950 - September 12, 1951 Harry S. Truman
Robert A. Lovett September 17, 1951 - January 20, 1953 Harry S. Truman
Charles E. Wilson January 28, 1953 - October 8, 1957 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Neil H. McElroy October 9, 1957 - December 1, 1959 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Thomas S. Gates December 2, 1959 - January 20, 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Robert McNamara January 21, 1961 - February 29, 1968 John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson
Clark Clifford March 1, 1968- January 20, 1969 Lyndon Johnson
Melvin Laird January 22, 1969 - January 29, 1973 Richard Nixon
Elliot L. Richardson January 30, 1973 - May 24, 1973 Richard Nixon
James R. Schlesinger July 2, 1973 - November 19, 1975 Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford
Donald H. Rumsfeld November 20, 1975 - January 20, 1977 Gerald Ford
Harold Brown January 21, 1977 - January 20, 1981 Jimmy Carter
Caspar W. Weinberger January 21, 1981 - November 23, 1987 Ronald Reagan
Frank C. Carlucci November 23, 1987 - January 20, 1989 Ronald Reagan
Richard B. Cheney March 21, 1989 - January 20, 1993 George H. W. Bush
Les Aspin January 21, 1993 - February 3, 1994 Bill Clinton
William J. Perry February 3, 1994 - January 23, 1997 Bill Clinton
William S. Cohen January 24, 1997 - January 20, 2001 Bill Clinton
Donald H. Rumsfeld January 20, 2001 - present George W. Bush

Reference

External link

fr:Dpartement_de_la_Dfense ja:アメリカ合衆国国防長官 nl:Department_of_Defense

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