General Counsel of the Department of Defense

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General Counsel of the Department of Defense
Personal flag of the office holder of the Inspector General for the US Department of Defense.svg
Flag of the General Counsel[1]
Paul C. Ney Jr. official photo (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Paul C. Ney Jr.

since August 20, 2018
Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary
Style The Honorable
Reports to Secretary of Defense
Deputy Secretary of Defense
Seat The Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, United States
Appointer The President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument 10 U.S.C. § 140
Precursor Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legal and Legislative Affairs
Formation 1953
First holder H. Struve Hensel
Deputy Acting Principal Deputy General Counsel Paul S. Koffsky
Salary Executive Schedule, level IV[2]
Website ogc.osd.mil

The General Counsel of the Department of Defense is the chief legal officer of the Department of Defense (DoD), advising both the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on all legal matters and services, and providing legal advice to Office of the Secretary of Defense organizations and, as appropriate, other DOD components.

The General Counsel develops the department's Legislative Program and coordinates DoD positions on legislation and Executive Orders; coordinates the appeals process for denied FOIA requests; oversees the performance and standards of DoD attorneys; establishes policy on general legal issues and determines the DoD position on specific legal problems; maintains repository for all international agreements coordinated, negotiated, or concluded by DoD personnel; and is "dual-hatted" as Director of the Defense Legal Services Agency.

This position was established by Reorganization Plan No. 6 of 1953 and by Defense Directive 5145.1, signed 24 August 1953. The position derived its responsibilities from one of the original three Special Assistants to the Secretary (established in 1947) and the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Legal and Legislative Affairs) (established in 1949).[3]

Office Holders[edit]

General Counsels of the Department of Defense[3]
Name Tenure SecDef(s) served under President(s) served under
Streuve Hensel (Assistant Secretary of the Navy).jpg
H. Struve Hensel
August 17, 1953 – March 4, 1954 Charles Erwin Wilson Dwight Eisenhower
Wilber Marion Brucker.jpg
Wilber M. Brucker
April 23, 1954 – July 20, 1955
Mansfield D. Sprague October 6, 1955 – February 27, 1957
Robert Dechert February 28, 1957 – July 15, 1959 Charles Erwin Wilson
Neil H. McElroy
J. Vincent Burke Jr. September 14, 1959 – January 20, 1961 Neil H. McElroy
Thomas S. Gates
CyrusVanceSoS.jpg
Cyrus Vance
January 29, 1961 – June 30, 1962 Robert S. McNamara John F. Kennedy
John McNaughton July 5, 1962 – June 25, 1964 John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) July 1, 1964 – September 19, 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson
Paul Warnke October 3, 1966 – July 31, 1967
Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) August 1, 1967 – August 20, 1970 Robert S. McNamara
Clark Clifford
Melvin Laird
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
J. Fred Buzhardt August 20, 1970 – January 4, 1974 Melvin Laird
Elliot Richardson
James R. Schlesinger
Richard Nixon
Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) May 22, 1973 – March 13, 1974 James R. Schlesinger
Martin Richard Hoffmann.jpg
Martin Richard Hoffmann
March 14, 1974 – August 5, 1975 Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) August 6, 1975 – January 1, 1976 James R. Schlesinger
Donald Rumsfeld
Gerald Ford
Richard A. Wiley January 2, 1976 – January 15, 1977 Donald Rumsfeld
Deanne C. Siemer April 28, 1977 – October 15, 1979 Harold Brown Jimmy Carter
Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) October 15, 1979 – February 1, 1980
TogoDWest.jpg
Togo D. West Jr.
February 1, 1980 – January 20, 1981
Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) January 20, 1981 – April 1, 1981 Caspar Weinberger Ronald Reagan
William Howard Taft IV, Deptuty Secretary of Defense, official portrait.JPEG
William Howard Taft IV
April 2, 1981 – May 2, 1984
Chapman B. Cox May 3, 1984 – December 16, 1985
Portrait of H. Lawrence Garrett III.jpg
Henry L. Garrett III
February 5, 1986 – August 6, 1987
Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) August 7, 1987 – October 25, 1987
Portrait of Kathleen A. Buck.jpg
Kathleen A. Buck
October 26, 1985 – December 30, 1989 Caspar Weinberger
Frank Carlucci
William Howard Taft IV
Dick Cheney
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Terrence O'Donnell October 30, 1989 – March 6, 1992 Dick Cheney George H. W. Bush
C. Paul Beach Jr. (Acting) March 7, 1992 – August 11, 1992
David Addington.jpg
David Addington
August 12, 1992 – January 20, 1993
John H. McNeil (Acting) January 20, 1993 – May 5, 1993 Les Aspin Bill Clinton
GorelickJamie.jpg
Jamie Gorelick
May 5, 1993 – March 17, 1994 Lee Aspin
William Perry
Stephen W. Preston (Acting) March 28, 1994 – September 28, 1994 William Perry
Judith Miller DoD.jpg
Judith A. Miller
September 29, 1994 – November 7, 1999 William Perry
William Cohen
Portrait of Douglas A. Dworkin.jpg
Douglas A. Dworkin
November 7, 1999 – June 14, 2000 (Acting)
June 14, 2000 – January 19, 2001
William Cohen
William J. Haynes, II in 2001.jpg
William J. Haynes II
May 24, 2001 – February 26, 2008[4] Donald Rumsfeld
Robert Gates
George W. Bush
Jeh Johnson official DHS portrait.jpg
Jeh Johnson
February 10, 2009 – December 2012 Robert Gates
Leon Panetta
Barack Obama
Robert S. Taylor (Acting)[5] January 2013 – October 2013 Leon Panetta
Chuck Hagel
Stephen W. Preston 2013–2016 Chuck Hagel
Ashton Carter
Jennifer M. O'Connor 2016–2017 Ashton Carter
James Mattis
Barack Obama
Donald Trump
William S. Castle official photo.jpg
William S. Castle
August 2017 – July 2018 James Mattis Donald Trump
Paul C. Ney Jr. official photo (cropped).jpg
Paul C. Ney Jr.
August 20, 2018 – present James Mattis Donald Trump

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/UniformedServices/Flags/Pos_Colors_DoD.aspx. Accessed on 2013-07-04.
  2. ^ 5 U.S.C. § 5315
  3. ^ a b "Department of Defense Key Officials" (PDF). Historical Office, OSD. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
  4. ^ "Pentagon lawyer to leave administration: The Swamp". Swamppolitics.com. 2008-02-26. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  5. ^ "General Counsel Bio". Dod.gov. Retrieved 2013-07-04.

External links[edit]