After the 1986 reorganization of the military undertaken by the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the Joint Chiefs of Staff does not have operational command of U. S. military forces. Today, their responsibility is to ensure the personnel readiness, policy. The Joint Chiefs of Staff also act in an advisory capacity for the President of the United States. However, the Coast Guard is always a service and may operate under the Department of the Navy during wartime. The commandant of the Coast Guard is however, occasionally invited by the chairman to attend meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As the military of the United States grew in size following the American Civil War, the Army and Navy were unsupportive of each other at either the planning or operational level and were constrained by disagreements during the Spanish–American War in the Caribbean campaigns. The Joint Board acting as a committee was created to plan joint operations. Yet, the Joint Board accomplished little as its charter gave it no authority to enforce its decisions, the Joint Board also lacked the ability to originate its own opinions and was thus limited to commenting only on the problems submitted to it by the Secretaries of War and Navy. As a result, the Joint Board had little to no impact on the manner the United States conducted World War I, after World War I, in 1919 the two Secretaries agreed to reestablish and revitalize the Joint Board. The mission of the General staff was to develop plans for mobilization for the next war, the US was always designated Blue and potential enemies were assigned various other colors. This time, the Joint Boards membership would include the Chiefs of Staff, their deputies, under the Joint Board would be a staff called the Joint Planning Committee to serve the Board. Along with new membership, the Joint Board could initiate recommendations on its own initiative, however, the Joint Board still did not possess the legal authority to enforce its decisions. President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill established the Combined Chiefs of Staff during the 1942 Arcadia Conference, the CCS would serve as the supreme military body for strategic direction of the combined US-British Empire war effort. The UK portion of the CCS would be composed of the British Chiefs of Staff Committee, the Joint Board had little influence during the war and was ultimately disbanded in 1947. Modeled on the British Chiefs of Staff Committee, the JCS first formal meeting was held on 9 February 1942, to coordinate U. S. military operations between War and Navy Departments. On 20 July 1942, Admiral Leahy became the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, with the chiefs of staff of the services serving under his leadership. The first members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were, As the table indicates, by the end of the war, however, each had been promoted, Leahy and King to Fleet Admiral, Marshall and Arnold to General of the Army. Arnold was later appointed to the grade of General of the Air Force, one of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs committees was the Joint Strategic Survey Committee
The Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon in December 2001.
Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting (circa 1943). From left to right are: Gen. Henry H. Arnold, Chief of the Army Air Forces; Adm. William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy; Adm. Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations; and Gen. George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the United States Army.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff and several Commanders in Chief gathered at the Pentagon on 1 July 1983.
The Joint Staff Organization Chart as of January 2012.