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The United States Secretary of the Army is a civilian office within the Department of Defensemarker with statutory responsibility for all matters relating to the United States Army: manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and equipment acquisition, communications, and financial management. Nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the Secretary of the Army is a non-Cabinet position serving under the Secretary of Defense. This position was created September 18, 1947, when the Department of War became the Department of the Army and made a branch of the new Department of Defense.

The Secretary of the Army is responsible for advising the Secretary of Defense and the executive branch of the Federal Government on the capabilities and requirements of the Army to perform its missions. The Secretary presents and justifies Army policies, plans, programs, and budgets to the Secretary of Defense, executive branch, and Congress. The Secretary also communicates Army policies, plans, programs, capabilities, and accomplishments to the public. As necessary, the Secretary convenes meetings with the senior leadership of the Army to debate issues, provide direction, and seek advice. Another responsibility of the Secretary of the Army is the management of the Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army Program.

The Office of the Secretary of the Army is composed of the Under Secretary of the Army, the Assistant Secretaries of the Army, the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, the General Counsel of the Department of the Army, the Inspector General of the Army, the Chief of Legislative Liaison, and the Army Reserve Forces Policy Committee. Other offices may be established by law or by the Secretary of the Army. No more than 1,865 officers of the Army on the active-duty list may be assigned or detailed to permanent duty in the Office of the Secretary of the Army and on the Army Staff.

Kenneth Claiborne Royall, the last Secretary of War, became the first Secretary of the Army when the National Defense Act of 1947 took effect and was the last Army secretary to hold the cabinet status, which was henceforth assigned to the Secretary of Defense. The current Secretary of the Army, John M. McHugh, took office on September 21, 2009.

Chronological list of Secretaries of the Army

Term of Office President served under
Kenneth Claiborne Royall
September 18, 1947 – April 27, 1949 Harry S. Truman
Gordon Gray (acting)
April 28, 1949 – June 19, 1949 Harry S. Truman
Gordon Gray
June 20, 1949 – April 12, 1950 Harry S. Truman
Frank Pace
April 12, 1950 – January 20, 1953 Harry S. Truman
Earl D.
Johnson (acting)
January 20, 1953 – February 4, 1953 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Robert Ten Broeck Stevens
February 4, 1953 – July 21, 1955 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Wilber Marion Brucker
July 21, 1955 – January 19, 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Elvis Jacob Stahr, Jr.
January 24, 1961 – June 30, 1962 John F. Kennedy
Cyrus Roberts Vance
July 5, 1962 – January 21, 1964 John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson
Stephen Ailes
January 28, 1964 – July 1, 1965 Lyndon B. Johnson
Stanley R.
July 2, 1965 – June 30, 1971 Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon
Robert F.
July 1, 1971 – May 14, 1973 Richard Nixon
Howard H.
May 15, 1973 – July 3, 1975 Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford
Norman R.
Augustine (acting)
July 3, 1975 – August 5, 1975 Gerald Ford
Martin R.
August 5, 1975 – January 20, 1977 Gerald Ford
Clifford L.
Alexander, Jr.
February 14, 1977 – January 20, 1981 Jimmy Carter
Percy A.
Pierre (acting)
January 21, 1981 – January 29, 1981 Jimmy Carter
John O.
Marsh, Jr.
January 30, 1981 – August 14, 1989 Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush
Michael P.
August 14, 1989 – January 20, 1993 George H. W. Bush
John W.
Shannon (acting)
January 20, 1993 – August 26, 1993 Bill Clinton
Gordon R.
Sullivan (acting)
August 28, 1993 – November 21, 1993 Bill Clinton
Togo D.
West, Jr.
November 22, 1993 – May 4, 1997 Bill Clinton
Robert M.
Walker (acting)
December 2, 1997 – July 1, 1998 Bill Clinton
Louis Caldera
July 2, 1998 – January 20, 2001 Bill Clinton
Gregory R.
Dahlberg (acting)
January 20, 2001 – March 4, 2001 George W. Bush
Joseph W.
Westphal (acting)
March 5, 2001 – May 31, 2001 George W. Bush
Thomas E.
May 31, 2001 – May 9, 2003 George W. Bush
Les Brownlee (acting)
May 10, 2003 – November 18, 2004 George W. Bush
Francis J.
November 19, 2004 – March 9, 2007 George W. Bush
Pete Geren
March 9, 2007 – September 21, 2009 George W. Bush, Barack H. Obama
John M.
September 21, 2009 – Present Barack H. Obama


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