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Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States of America symbol


The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is a group of military leaders in the United States armed forces who advise the civilian government of the United Statesmarker. The JCS is defined by statute and consists of a Chairman and Vice Chairman appointed by the President, and the Chiefs of service from four of the five branches of the armed services.

Similar organizations, sometimes known as Chiefs of Staff Committees (COSCs) in the Commonwealth of Nations, are common in other countries.

History

As the military of the United States grew in size following the American Civil War, joint military action between the Army and Navy became increasingly difficult. The joint Army and Navy cooperation were unsupportive at either the planning or operational level and were constrained over disagreements during the Spanish-American War in the Caribbeanmarker campaigns. The Joint Army and Navy Board was established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, comprising representatives from the military heads and chief planners of both the Navy's General Board and the Army's General Staff. The Joint Board acting as an "advisory committee" was created to plan joint operations and resolve problems of common rivalry between the two services.
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. This time, the Joint Board’s membership would include the Chiefs of Staff, their deputies, and the Chief of War Plans Division for the Army and Director of Plans Division for the Navy. 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.

In 1942, President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill established the Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) following the attack on Pearl Harbormarker and the United States' entrance into World War II. The CCS would serve as the supreme military body for strategic direction of the US-British Commonwealth war effort. While the UK had the Chiefs of Staff Committee, the United States had no equivalent agency with which to provide the CCS with American services.

Though the Joint Board did exist, its authority and services were of little use to the CCS. Although its 1935 publication, Joint Action of the Army and Navy, gave some guidance for the joint operations during World War II, the Joint Board held little influence in that war. Following the end of WWII, the Joint Board was officially disbanded in 1947.

To fill the need for a coordinated effort and to provide coordinated staff work, Admiral William D. Leahy proposed a concept of a "unified high command" in what would be called the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On 20 July 1942, Admiral Leahy became the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy ("Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States" being the military title of the U.S. President, per Article II, § 2, of the Constitution), and created a staff of the chiefs of staff of the services to serve under him.

The first members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were:

Name Service Position
Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy USN Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy and

Special Presidential Military Advisor
General of the Army George C. Marshall USA Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King USN Chief of Naval Operations and

Commander in Chief of the United States Fleet
General of the Army* Henry H. Arnold USAAF Deputy Army Chief of Staff for Air and

Chief of the Army Air Forces


*Arnold was later appointed to the grade of General of the Air Force. His rank while serving as Chief of the Army Air Forces was General of the Army.

With the end of World War II, the Joint Chiefs of Staff was officially established under the National Security Act of 1947. Per the National Security Act, the JCS consisted of a Chairman, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (which was established as a separate service by the same Act), and the Chief of Naval Operations. The Commandant of the Marine Corps was to be consulted on matters concerning the Corps, but was not a regular member; General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., Commandant in 1952-55, was the first to sit as an occasional member. The law was amended during the term of General Louis H. Wilson, Jr. (1975-79), making the Commandant a full-time JCS member in parity with the other three DoD services.

The position of Vice Chairman was created by the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 to compliment the CJCS as well as to delegate some of the Chairman's responsibilities, particularly concerning procurement.

General Colin L. Powell (1989-93) was the first and, as of 2009, the only African American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Peter Pace (Vice Chairman 2001-05; Chairman, 2005-07) was the first Marine to serve in either position. No woman has ever served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Although the Coast Guard is one of the five armed services of the United States, the Commandant of the Coast Guard is not a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is, however, entitled to the same supplemental pay as the Joint Chiefs, per 37 U.S.C. § 414(a)(5) ($4,000 per annum in 2009), and is accorded privilege of the floor under Senate Rule XXIII(1) as a de facto JCS member during Presidential addresses. In contrast to the Joint Chiefs — who are not in the military's operational chain of command — the Commandant of the Coast Guard commands his service. Coast Guard officers are legally eligible to be appointed as CJCS and VCJCS, per 10 U.S.C. 152(a)(1) & 154(a)(1) respectively — which use the collective term "armed forces" rather than listing the eligible services — but none has been appointed to either position as of 2009.

Roles and responsibilities

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, November 2002.
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. Responsibility for conducting military operations goes from the President to the Secretary of Defense directly to the commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands and thus bypasses the Joint Chiefs of Staff completely.

Today, their primary responsibility is to ensure the personnel readiness, policy, planning and training of their respective military services for the combatant commanders to utilize. The Joint Chiefs of Staff also act in a military advisory capacity for the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense. In addition, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff acts as the chief military advisor to the President and the Secretary of Defense. In this strictly advisory role, the Joint Chiefs constitute the second-highest deliberatory body for military policy, after the National Security Council, which includes the President and other officials besides the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Director of the Joint Staff

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.

Current Joint Chiefs of Staff

Name Service Position
Admiral Michael Mullen USN Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
General James E. Cartwright USMC Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
General George W. Casey, Jr. USA Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Admiral Gary Roughead USN Chief of Naval Operations
General Norton A. Schwartz USAF Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
General James T. Conway USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps


Uniformed Service Chiefs not Members of JCS:
Name Service Position
Admiral Thad W. Allen USCG Commandant of the Coast Guard
Vice Admiral Regina Benjamin PHSCC Surgeon General of the United States
Rear Admiral Jonathan W. Bailey NOAA Director, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps


Notes:

  • On 8 June 2007, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recommended that Admiral Mike Mullen be nominated to replace General Pace when the Congressional confirmation of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff occurred that September. Secretary Gates stated that the contentious issue of the military actions in Iraq would shift "the focus of his [General Pace's] confirmation process would have been on the past rather than the future" and that the "divisive ordeal" of the reconfirmation "is not in the interest of the country."[28413]


  • Secretary Gates also recommended on the same day that General James E. Cartwright (United States Strategic Command) be nominated as Vice-Chairman in order to preserve the "balance" of the representation of each branch of service.




Leadership

Chairman

Joint Chiefs of Staff and Joint Staff


The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is, by law, the highest ranking military officer of the United States armed forces, and the principal military adviser to the President of the United States. He leads the meetings and coordinates the efforts of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 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 United States Marine Corps. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have offices in The Pentagonmarker. The Chairman outranks all respective heads of each service branch, but does not have command authority over them, their service branches or the Unified Combatant Commands. All combatant commanders receive operational orders directly from the Secretary of Defense



The current Chairman is Admiral Michael Mullen, USN, who began his term on 1 October 2007.

On 20 July 1942, Navy Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy became the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy (20 July 1942–21 March 1949). He was not technically the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Leahy's office was the precursor to the post of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That post was established and first held by General of the Army Omar Bradley in 1949.

Vice Chairman

The position of Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was created by the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986. The Vice Chairman is a four-star-general or admiral and, by law, is the second highest ranking member of the U.S. Armed Forces (after the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff). In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman presides over the meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He may also perform such duties as the Chairman may prescribe. It was not until the National Defense Authorization Act in 1992 that the position was made a full voting member of the JCS.

The current Vice Chairman is Marine Corps General James Cartwright

Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman

Command Sergeant Major William J. Gainey was selected to serve as the first Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SEAC) beginning 1 Oct 2005. It was to be a newly-created position established to advise the Chairman on all matters involving enlisted personnel in a joint environment.

The position of Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is currently vacant.

As the SEA to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the SEAC will be an advisor to the Chairman on all matters concerning joint and combined total force integration, utilization, and development. Additionally, the SEAC will help develop noncommissioned officers (NCOs)-related joint professional education, enhance utilization of our senior NCOs on joint battle staffs, and support the Chairman’s responsibilities as directed.



The position has been vacant since CSM Gainey's retirement on 25 April 2008. As of July 2009, no reference is made to the position on the JCS website's menu system.




Directorates of the Joint Staff

The Joint Chiefs of Staff organization includes the following departments where all the Joint Staff's planning, policies, intelligence, manpower, communications and logistics functions are translated into action.
  • DOM - Directorate of Management
  • J1 - Personnel and Manpower
  • J2 - Intelligence
  • J3 - Operations
  • J4 - Logistics
  • J5 - Strategic Plans and Policy
  • J6 - Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems
  • J7 - Operational Plans and Joint Force Development
  • J8 - Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment


Joint Chiefs of Staff: Civilian Awards

The Joint Chiefs may recognize private citizens, organizations or career civilian government employees for significant achievements provided to the joint community with one of the following decorations / awards. [28414]

  • CJCS Award for Distinguished Public Service (DPS)
  • CJCS Award for Outstanding Public Service (OPS)
  • CJCS Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award
  • CJCS Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award
  • Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award (JCSCA)
  • Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award (JCSAA)


Notes

  1. [1] 10 USC 151. Joint Chiefs of Staff: composition; functions
  2. Allan R. Millett, Semper Fidelis: The History of the United States Marine Corps, 1980;pg. 269, para. 2.
  3. [2] 10 USC 152. Chairman: appointment; grade and rank
  4. [3] 10 USC 152(c). Chairman: appointment; grade and rank - Grade and Rank.
  5. [4] 10 USC 162. Combatant commands: assigned forces; chain of command
  6. About the Joint Chiefs
  7. jcs.mil


See also



Further reading

  • Gillespie, Robert M. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Escalation of the Vietnam Conflict, 1964-1965. Masters Thesis, Clemson University, 1994.
  • Joint Chiefs of Staff, Organizational Development of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1942-1987. Joint Secretariat, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1988.
  • McMaster, H.R. Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam. New York: Harper Collins, 1997.
  • Perry, Mark Four Stars: The Inside Story of the Forty-Year Battle Between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and America's Civilian Leaders. New Yotk: Houghton Mifflin, 1989, ISBN 0-395-42923-4.
  • Rearden, Steven L. History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 2 vols. Washington DC: Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, 1984.
  • Schnabel, James F. History of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Policy 1945-1947. Volume I. Washington DC: Joint History Office, The Joint Staff, 1996.
  • Taylor, Maxwell D. The Uncertain Trumpet. New York: Harper & Row, 1959.


External links




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