Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence

Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
United States
Under Secretary of Defense
for Intelligence

Michael G. Vickers, Assistant Secretary of Defense.jpg

Michael G. Vickers
since: March 16, 2011
First Stephen Cambone
Formation March 11, 2003
Website [1]

US Under Secretary of Defense flag.svg

The Under Secretary for Intelligence or USD(I) is a high-ranking civilian position in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) within the U.S. Department of Defense that acts as the principal advisor and deputy to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense on matters relating to intelligence. The Under Secretary exercises oversight as the Secretary's designee over, among others, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the National Security Agency (NSA).

In addition, the Under Secretary is also dual-hatted, serving as the Director of Defense Intelligence under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.[1]

The Under Secretary is a civilian appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.[2]



Stephen Cambone was sworn in as the first Under Secretary on March 11, 2003.[3] Soon after Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's resignation on November 8, 2006, Stephen Cambone stated that he would resign on December 31, 2006.[4] Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates then chose a career military intelligence officer, retired Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper, to be the second undersecretary of defense for intelligence. Lt. Gen. Clapper was officially confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 15, 2007.[5] Robert Andrews had served as Acting Under Secretary between Cambone's resignation and Clapper's confirmation.[6]


The position was created by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003. It became second in the line of succession for the Secretary of Defense, after the Deputy Secretary of Defense, after an executive order was made by President George W. Bush on December 22, 2005. When it was created, the legislation described it as taking precedence in the Department behind the Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness.[2][7]

On November 23, 2005, a Department of Defense Directive was made by Secretary Rumsfeld that stated that the Under Secretary shall serve as the Secretary's primary representative to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It also stated the Under Secretary shall provide policy and oversight on the training and career development of personnel in Department of Defense's counterterrorism, intelligence, and security components. The Under Secretary has the duty of finding candidates to be nominated to serve as Directors of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the National Security Agency, and overseeing their performance.

The USD(I) became a dual-hatted position as Director of Defense Intelligence, acting as the primary military intelligence advisor to the DNI. This additional position follows a May 2007 memorandum of agreement between Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Director of National Intelligence John Michael McConnell to create the position.[1]

List of Under Secretaries

# Picture Name Term of Office President(s) served under
Start End
1 Stephen Cambone Stephen Cambone March 11, 2003 December 31, 2006 George W. Bush
2 James Clapper James R. Clapper April 15, 2007 August 9, 2010 George W. Bush
Barack Obama
3 Michael Vickers Michael G. Vickers March 16, 2011 Present Barack Obama


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