Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg
Seal of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Flag of the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.svg
Flag of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Dunford CJCS.JPG
Incumbent
General Joseph Dunford, USMC

since 1 October 2015[1]
Joint Chiefs of Staff
United States Department of Defense
Status Highest-ranking military officer
Member of Joint Chiefs of Staff
National Security Council
Reports to President of the United States
Secretary of Defense
Seat The Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia
Nominator Secretary of Defense
Appointer The President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length 2 years, renewable
Constituting instrument 10 U.S.C. § 153
Precursor Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy
Formation 19 August 1949
First holder General of the Army Omar Bradley
Deputy Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Director of the Joint Staff (Joint Staff)
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman (Enlisted Matters)
Website www.jcs.mil

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is, by U.S. law, the highest-ranking and senior-most military officer in the United States Armed Forces[2] and is the principal military advisor to the President, the National Security Council,[3] the Homeland Security Council,[3] and the Secretary of Defense.[3][4] While the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff outranks all other commissioned officers, he is prohibited by law from having operational command authority over the armed forces; however, the Chairman does assist the President and the Secretary of Defense in exercising their command functions.[2]

The Chairman convenes the meetings and coordinates the efforts of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), an advisory body within the Department of Defense comprising the Chairman, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau.[3] The post of a statutory and permanent Joint Chiefs of Staff chair was created by the 1949 amendments to the National Security Act of 1947, the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act elevated the Chairman from the first among equals to becoming the "principal military advisor" to the President and the Secretary of Defense.

The Joint Staff, managed by the Director of the Joint Staff and consisting of military personnel from all the services, assists the Chairman in fulfilling his duties to the President and Secretary of Defense, and functions as a conduit and collector of information between the Chairman and the combatant commanders. The National Military Command Center (NMCC) is part of the Joint Staff operations directorate (J-3).

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 has 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.[5] However the services chiefs do have authority over personnel assignments and oversight over resources and personnel allocated to the combatant commands within their respective services (derived from the service secretaries).

The Chairman may also transmit communications to the combatant commanders from the President and Secretary of Defense[6] as well as allocate additional funding to the combatant commanders if necessary.[7] 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.

Organization and assistants[edit]

The principal deputy to the Chairman is the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), another four-star general or admiral, who among many duties chairs the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC).

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is assisted by the Joint Staff, led by the Director of the Joint Staff, a three-star general or admiral, the Joint Staff is an organization composed of approximately equal numbers of officers contributed by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and 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 National Military Command Center (NMCC) is part of the Joint Staff operations directorate (J-3).

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is also advised on enlisted personnel matters by the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, who serves as a communication conduit between the Chairman and the senior enlisted advisors (command sergeants major, command master chief petty officers, and command chief master sergeants) of the combatant commands.

Historical[edit]

Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, served as the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief from 20 July 1942 to 21 March 1949. He presided over meetings of what was called the Joint Chiefs of Staff,[8] and Leahy's office was the precursor to the post of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, created in 1942.

Appointment and rank[edit]

The Chairman is nominated by the President for appointment and must be confirmed via majority vote by the Senate,[2] the Chairman and Vice Chairman may not be members of the same armed force service branch.[9] 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,[9] the Chairman serves a two-year term of office at the pleasure of the President,[2] but can be reappointed to serve two additional terms for a total of six years, as long as the Chairman has not previously served a term as Vice Chairman,[2] in which case the Chairman would be limited to serving up to two terms.[2] However, 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.[2] Historically, the Chairman has served two terms. By statute, the Chairman is appointed as a four-star general or admiral while holding office[2] and assumes office on 1 October of odd-numbered years.[2]

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 so that his subordinate, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, would not outrank him.[10][11]

In the 1990s, there were proposals in Department of Defense academic circles to bestow on the office of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a five-star rank.[12][13][14]

According to the 2017 Military Pay Table (effective 1 January 2017), basic pay for flag officers is limited by Level II of the Executive Schedule, which is $15,583.20 per month. This includes officers serving as Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief of Staff of the Army, Chief of Naval Operations, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Commandant of the Coast Guard, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, or commander of a unified or specified combatant command.[15]

Upcoming changes[edit]

Beginning in 2019, the Chairman's statutory term length will increase from two years to a single four-year term, with reappointment only possible in times of war or national emergency.[16]

List of Chairmen[edit]

Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief (historical predecessor office)[edit]

No. Image Name Branch Term of Office Secretaries President
Began Ended Days of
Service
1. William Leahy cropped.jpg Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy USN 20 July 1942 21 March 1949 2436 Henry L. Stimson, Robert P. Patterson, Kenneth C. Royall, of War; Frank Knox of Navy James V. Forrestal 1st DOD Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman

Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff[edit]

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch Secretaries President
1
Omar Bradley
Bradley, OmarGeneral of the Army
Omar Bradley
(1893–1981)
19 August 194915 August 19533 years, 361 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Army.png
US Army
Louis A. Johnson
George C. Marshall
Robert A. Lovett
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
2
Arthur W. Radford
Radford, Arthur W.Admiral
Arthur W. Radford
(1896–1973)
15 August 195315 August 19574 years, 0 daysEmblem of the United States Navy.svg
US Navy
Charles Erwin WilsonDwight D. Eisenhower
3
Nathan F. Twining
Twining, Nathan F.General
Nathan F. Twining
(1897–1982)
15 August 195730 September 19603 years, 46 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Air Force.svg
US Air Force
Charles Erwin Wilson
Neil H. McElroy
Thomas S. Gates
Dwight D. Eisenhower
4
Lyman Lemnitzer
Lemnitzer, LymanGeneral
Lyman Lemnitzer
(1899–1988)
1 October 196030 September 19622 years, 0 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Army.png
US Army
Thomas S. Gates
Robert McNamara
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
5
Maxwell D. Taylor
Taylor, MaxwellGeneral
Maxwell D. Taylor
(1901–1987)
1 October 19621 July 19641 year, 275 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Army.png
US Army
Robert McNamaraJohn F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
6
Earle Wheeler
Wheeler, EarleGeneral
Earle Wheeler
(1908–1975)
3 July 19642 July 19705 years, 364 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Army.png
US Army
Robert McNamara
Clark Clifford
Melvin Laird
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
7
Thomas H. Moorer
Moorer, ThomasAdmiral
Thomas H. Moorer
(1912–2004)
2 July 19701 July 19743 years, 364 daysEmblem of the United States Navy.svg
US Navy
Melvin Laird
Elliot Richardson
James R. Schlesinger
Richard Nixon
8
George S. Brown
Brown, GeorgeGeneral
George S. Brown
(1918–1978)
1 July 197420 June 19783 years, 354 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Air Force.svg
US Air Force
James R. Schlesinger
Donald Rumsfeld
Harold Brown
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
9
David C. Jones
Jones, DavidGeneral
David C. Jones
(1921–2013)
21 June 197818 June 19823 years, 362 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Air Force.svg
US Air Force
Harold Brown
Caspar Weinberger
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
10
John William Vessey Jr.
Vessey Jr., John WilliamGeneral
John William Vessey Jr.
(1922–2016)
18 June 198230 September 19853 years, 104 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Army.png
US Army
Caspar WeinbergerRonald Reagan
11
William J. Crowe
Crowe, WilliamAdmiral
William J. Crowe
(1925–2007)
1 October 198530 September 19893 years, 364 daysEmblem of the United States Navy.svg
US Navy
Caspar Weinberger
Frank Carlucci
Dick Cheney
Ronald Reagan
George H.W. Bush
12
Colin Powell
Powell, ColinGeneral
Colin Powell
(born 1937)
1 October 198930 September 19933 years, 364 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Army.png
US Army
Dick Cheney
Les Aspin
George H.W. Bush
Bill Clinton
David E. Jeremiah
Jeremiah, DavidAdmiral
David E. Jeremiah
(1934–2013)
Acting
1 October 199324 October 199323 daysEmblem of the United States Navy.svg
US Navy
Les AspinBill Clinton
13
John Shalikashvili
Shalikashvili, JohnGeneral
John Shalikashvili
(1936–2011)
25 October 199330 September 19973 years, 341 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Army.png
US Army
Les Aspin
William J. Perry
William S. Cohen
Bill Clinton
14
Hugh Shelton
Shelton, HughGeneral
Hugh Shelton
(born 1942)
1 October 199730 September 20013 years, 364 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Army.png
US Army
William S. Cohen
Donald Rumsfeld
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
15
Richard Myers
Myers, RichardGeneral
Richard Myers
(born 1942)
30 September 200130 September 20054 years, 0 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Air Force.svg
US Air Force
Donald RumsfeldGeorge W. Bush
16
Peter Pace
Pace, PeterGeneral
Peter Pace
(born 1945)
1 October 200530 September 20071 year, 364 daysEmblem of the United States Marine Corps.svg
Marine Corps
Donald Rumsfeld
Robert M. Gates
George W. Bush
17
Michael Mullen
Mullen, MichaelAdmiral
Michael Mullen
(born 1946)
1 October 200730 September 20113 years, 364 daysEmblem of the United States Navy.svg
US Navy
Robert M. Gates
Leon Panetta
George W. Bush
Barack Obama
18
Martin Dempsey
Dempsey, MartinGeneral
Martin Dempsey
(born 1952)
1 October 201125 September 20153 years, 359 daysMilitary service mark of the United States Army.png
US Army
Leon Panetta
Chuck Hagel
Ash Carter
Barack Obama
19
Joseph Dunford
Dunford, JosephGeneral
Joseph Dunford
(born 1955)
1 October 2015Incumbent2 years, 286 daysEmblem of the United States Marine Corps.svg
Marine Corps
Ash Carter
James Mattis
Barack Obama
Donald Trump

Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by branches of service[edit]

General Henry H. Shelton hosted on 1 December 2000 a conference in the Pentagon for former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Standing from left to right are: Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret); Gen. John W. Vessey, USA (Ret); Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, USN (Ret); Gen. Shelton, USA; Gen. David C. Jones, USAF (Ret); Adm. William J. Crowe, Jr., USN (Ret); and Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, USA (Ret).
  • Army – 9
  • Air Force – 4
  • Navy – 4
  • Marine Corps – 2

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.- Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i [1] 10 USC 152. Chairman: appointment; grade and rank
  3. ^ a b c d [2] 10 USC 151 - Joint Chiefs of Staff: composition; functions
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2009.  Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986
  5. ^ [3] 10 USC 162. Combatant commands: assigned forces; chain of command
  6. ^ [4] 10 USC 163. Role of Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff
  7. ^ [5] 10 USC 166a. Combatant commands: funding through the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff
  8. ^ "Washington Eats". Life. 5 October 1942. p. 95. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  9. ^ a b [6] 10 USC 154. Vice Chairman
  10. ^ Abrams, Jim (22 March 1991). "Higher rank not in the stars for nation's top generals". Associated Press. 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. 
  11. ^ Tillman, Barrett (2004). Brassey's D-Day encyclopedia: the Normandy invasion A-Z. Brassey's. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-57488-760-0. Retrieved 22 February 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. 
  12. ^ Organizing for National Security: The Role of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Institute for Foreign Analysis. January 1986. p. 11. Retrieved 21 February 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. 
  13. ^ Jones, Logan (February 2000). "Toward the Valued Idea of Jointness: The Need for Unity of Command in U.S. Armed Forces" (PDF). Naval War College: 2. ADA378445. Retrieved 21 February 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... 
  14. ^ Owsley, Robert Clark (June 1997). "Goldwater-Nichols Almost Got It Right: A Fifth Star for the Chairman" (PDF). Naval War College: 14. ADA328220. Retrieved 21 February 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. 
  15. ^ http://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/payentitlements/military-pay-charts.html
  16. ^ Public Law 114–328 - The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 increased the term length Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from two years to four years.

External links[edit]