- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
GEN Martin Dempsey
since: October 1, 2011
First Omar Bradley Formation August 19, 1949 Website Official Website
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, 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 officers, he does not have operational command authority over the Armed Forces; however, the Chairman does assist the President and the Secretary of Defense in exercising their command functions.
The Chairman convenes the meetings and coordinates the efforts of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), an advisory body comprising the Chairman, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the chiefs of staff of the United States Army and United States Air Force, the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The Joint Staff is under the exclusive direction of the Chairman.
- 1 Background
- 2 List of Chairmen
- 3 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by Branch of Service
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 External links
Although the office of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is considered very important and highly prestigious, neither the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, nor the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a body have any command authority over combatant forces. The Goldwater-Nichols Act places the chain of command from the President to the Secretary of Defense directly to the commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands. However the chiefs do have authority over personnel assignments and oversight over resources and personnel allocated to the combatant commands within their respective services. The Chairman may also transmit communications to the combatant commanders from the President and Secretary of Defense as well as allocate additional funding to the combatant commanders if necessary. He also performs all other functions prescribed under 10 U.S.C. § 153 or allocates those duties and responsibilities to other officers in the joint staff under his name.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is assisted by the Director of the Joint Staff, a three-star officer who assists the Chairman with the management of the Joint Staff, an organization composed of approximately equal numbers of officers contributed by the Army, the Navy and Marine Corps, and the Air Force, who have been assigned to assist the Chairman with the unified strategic direction, operation, and integration of the combatant land, naval, and air forces.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is also advised on enlisted personnel matters by the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman who served as a communication conduit between the Chairman and the senior enlisted advisors (sergeants major, command master chief petty officers, and command chief master sergeants) of the combatant commands.
Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, served as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy (July 20, 1942–March 21, 1949). He presided over meetings of what was called the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Leahy's office was the precursor to the post of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Appointment and rank
The Chairman is nominated by the President for appointment and must be confirmed via majority vote by the Senate. The Chairman and Vice Chairman may not be members of the same armed force service branch. However, the President may waive that restriction for a limited period of time in order to provide for the orderly transition of officers appointed to serve in those positions. The Chairman serves a two-year term of office at the pleasure of the President, but can be reappointed to serve two additional terms for a total of six years. In a time of war or national emergency, there is no limit to how many times an officer can be reappointed to serve as Chairman. Historically, the Chairman has served two terms. By statute, the Chairman is appointed as a four-star general or admiral while holding office and assumes office on October 1st of odd-numbered years.
Although the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Omar Bradley, was eventually awarded a fifth star, the CJCS does not receive one by right, and Bradley's award was politically motivated so as to not allow his subordinate, Douglas MacArthur, to outrank him.
According to the 2011 Military Pay Table effective 1 January 2011, While serving as Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff/Vice Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff, Chief of Navy Operations, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Army/Air Force Chief of Staff,Commander of a unified or specified combatant command, basic pay is $20,263.50 a month plus additional allowances/pay.
List of Chairmen
Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief (historical predecessor office)
No. Image Name Term of Office Secretaries serving under: President appointed by: Began Ended Days of Service 1. Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN July 20, 1942 March 21, 1949 2436 James Forrestal Franklin D. Roosevelt
Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
No. Image Name Term of Office Secretaries serving under: President appointed by: Began Ended Days of Service 1. General of the Army Omar Bradley, USA August 19, 1949 August 15, 1953 1457 Louis A. Johnson
George C. Marshall
Robert A. Lovett
Charles E. Wilson
Harry S. Truman 2. Admiral Arthur W. Radford, USN August 15, 1953 August 15, 1957 1461 Charles E. Wilson Dwight D. Eisenhower 3. General Nathan F. Twining, USAF August 15, 1957 September 30, 1960 1142 Charles E. Wilson
Neil H. McElroy
Thomas S. Gates
Dwight D. Eisenhower 4. General Lyman Lemnitzer, USA October 1, 1960 September 30, 1962 729 Thomas S. Gates
Robert S. McNamara
Dwight D. Eisenhower 5. General Maxwell D. Taylor, USA October 1, 1962 July 1, 1964 639 Robert S. McNamara John F. Kennedy 6. General Earle Wheeler, USA July 3, 1964 July 2, 1970 2190 Robert S. McNamara
Clark M. Clifford
Melvin R. Laird
Lyndon B. Johnson 7. Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, USN July 2, 1970 July 1, 1974 1460 Melvin R. Laird
James R. Schlesinger
Richard Nixon 8. General George S. Brown, USAF July 1, 1974 June 20, 1978 1450 James R. Schlesinger
Richard Nixon 9. General David C. Jones, USAF June 21, 1978 June 18, 1982 1458 Harold Brown
Jimmy Carter 10. General John W. Vessey Jr., USA June 18, 1982 September 30, 1985 1200 Caspar Weinberger Ronald Reagan 11. Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., USN October 1, 1985 September 30, 1989 1460 Caspar Weinberger
Ronald Reagan 12. General Colin Powell, USA October 1, 1989 September 30, 1993 1460 Dick Cheney
George H.W. Bush (acting) Admiral David E. Jeremiah, USN October 1, 1993 October 24, 1993 23 Les Aspin Bill Clinton 13. General John Shalikashvili, USA October 25, 1993 September 30, 1997 1436 Les Aspin
William J. Perry
William S. Cohen
Bill Clinton 14. General Hugh Shelton, USA October 1, 1997 September 30, 2001 1460 William S. Cohen
Bill Clinton 15. General Richard B. Myers, USAF October 1, 2001 September 30, 2005 1460 Donald Rumsfeld George W. Bush 16. General Peter Pace, USMC October 1, 2005 September 30, 2007 729 Donald Rumsfeld
Robert M. Gates
George W. Bush 17. Admiral Michael Mullen, USN October 1, 2007 September 30, 2011 1460 Robert M. Gates
George W. Bush 18. General Martin Dempsey, USA October 1, 2011 Incumbent 51 Leon Panetta Barack Obama
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by Branch of Service
- Air Force - 4
- Army - 9
- Marine Corps - 1
- Navy - 4
Note: This list does not include Chief of Staff to the CINC FADM Leahy and acting Chairman ADM Jeremiah.
- Chief of the General Staff (disambiguation) (various nations)
- Chief of the Defence Staff (disambiguation) (various nations)
- Staff (military) (various nations)
- List of United States Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by time in office
Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- ^ a b c d e f g h  10 USC 152. Chairman: appointment; grade and rank
- ^ a b c  10 USC 151. Joint Chiefs of Staff: composition; functions
- ^  Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986
- ^  10 USC 162. Combatant commands: assigned forces; chain of command
- ^  10 USC 163. Role of Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff
- ^  10 USC 166a. Combatant commands: funding through the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff
- ^ "Washington Eats". Life: pp. 95. 1942-10-05. http://books.google.com/books?id=UUAEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA2&pg=PA95#v=onepage&f=true. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
- ^ a b  10 USC 154. Vice Chairman
- ^ Abrams, Jim (March 22, 1991). "Higher rank not in the stars for nation's top generals". Associated Press. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=xDkpAAAAIBAJ&sjid=sIYDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7013,1927407&dq=omar-bradley+fifth-star+not+for+chairman&hl=en. "Bradley received his fifth star in 1950 when he became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff so he would not be outranked by MacArthur."
- ^ Tillman, Barrett (2004). Brassey's D-Day encyclopedia: the Normandy invasion A-Z. Brassey's. p. 48. ISBN 9781574887600. http://books.google.com/books?id=6Fxfa0V8-TIC&pg=PA48&dq=%22omar+bradley%22+%22fifth+star%22+macarthur#v=onepage&q=%22omar%20bradley%22%20%22fifth%20star%22%20macarthur&f=false. Retrieved February 22, 2011. "MacArthur, having been army chief of staff before World War II, was senior to everyone on the Joint Chiefs, and some observers felt that Bradley was given his fifth star in order to deal with the vainglorious field commander on an equal footing."
- ^ "Organizing for National Security: The Role of the Joint Chiefs of Staff". Institute for Foreign Analysis. January 1986. p. 11. http://books.google.com/books?ei=dlFjTeSbOYK8lQfVh7SvDA&ct=result&id=HgoJAQAAMAAJ&dq=Chairman+of+the+Joint+Chiefs+of+Staff+five-star+rank&q=%22five+star%22#search_anchor. Retrieved February 21, 2011. "There was some discussion of the proposal to grant the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs five-star rank, as a symbol of his status as the most senior officer in the armed forces."
- ^ Jones, Logan (February 2000) (PDF). Toward the Valued Idea of Jointness: The Need for Unity of Command in U.S. Armed Forces. Naval War College. p. 2. ADA378445. http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA378445. Retrieved February 21, 2011. Lay summary. "Promoting the Chairman to the five-star rank and ceding to him operational and administrative control of all U.S. Armed Forces would enable him to provide a unifying vision..."
- ^ Owsley, Robert Clark (June 1997) (PDF). Goldwater-Nichols Almost Got It Right: A Fifth Star for the Chairman. Naval War College. p. 14. ADA328220. http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA328220. Retrieved February 21, 2011. Lay summary. "...Chairman's title be changed to Commander of the Armed Forces and commensurate with the title and authority he be assigned the grade of five stars."
Senior Officials in the United States Department of Defense
Under Secretaries of Defense:
Acquisition, Technology and Logistics: Frank Kendall III (Acting) • Policy: Michèle Flournoy • Comptroller/Chief Financial Officer: Robert Hale • Personnel and Readiness: Clifford Stanley • Intelligence: Michael Vickers
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