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United States Secretary of Defense

position

The United States Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) is the head of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The role was made in 1947. The Secretary of Defense is sixth in line to the United States presidential line of succession.

United States Secretary of Defense
United States Department of Defense Seal.svg
Seal of the Department[1]
Flag of the United States Secretary of Defense.svg
Dr. Mark T. Esper – Secretary of Defense (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Mark Esper

since July 26, 2019
United States Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
StyleMr. Secretary
StatusLeader and chief executive
Member ofCabinet
National Security Council
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatThe Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 113
50 U.S.C. § 401
FormationSeptember 17, 1947 (1947-09-17)
First holderJames Forrestal
SuccessionSixth[3]
DeputyDeputy Secretary of Defense
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level I[4]
Websitewww.defense.gov

List of SecretariesEdit

Parties

  Democratic   Republican   Political Independent / Unknown

Status

     Denotes an Acting Secretary of Defense

ReferencesEdit

  1. Trask & Goldberg: p. 177.
  2. http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/UniformedServices/Flags/Pos_Colors_DoD.aspx Archived May 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, accessed on January 4, 2012.
  3. "3 U.S. Code § 19 – Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act".
  4. 5 U.S.C. § 5312.
  5. "James V. Forrestal – Harry S. Truman Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  6. "Louis A. Johnson – Harry S. Truman Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  7. "George C. Marshall – Harry S. Truman Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  8. "Robert A. Lovett – Harry S. Truman Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  9. "Charles E. Wilson – Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  10. "Neil H. McElroy -Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  11. "Thomas S. Gates, Jr. – Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  12. "Robert S. McNamara – John F. Kennedy / Lyndon Johnson Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  13. "Clark M. Gifford – Lyndon Johnson Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  14. "Melvin R. Laird – Richard Nixon Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  15. "Elliot L. Richardson – Richard Nixon Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  16. Cantwell, Gerald T. Citizen Airmen: A History of the Air Force Reserve 1946–1994. DIANE Publishing. p. 252. In June 1973, Representative O. C. Fisher complained to William P. Clements, Jr., acting Secretary of Defense, that the authority, responsibility, and, consequently, effectiveness of the chiefs of the various reserve components seemed to be eroding.
  17. "James R. Schlesinger – Richard Nixon / Gerald Ford Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  18. "Donald H. Rumsfeld – Gerald Ford Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  19. "Harold Brown – James Carter Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  20. "Caspar W. Weinberger – Ronald Reagan Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  21. "Frank C. Carlucci – Ronald Reagan Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  22. "II. Secretaries of Defense" (PDF). Washington Headquarters Services – Pentagon Digital Library. p. 9. (Deputy Secretary of Defense William H. Taft served as acting secretary of defense from 20 January 1989 until 21 March 1989).
  23. "Richard B. Cheney – George H.W. Bush Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 Department of Defense Key Officials September 1947 – February 2019
  25. "Les Aspin Serves One Year As Defense Secretary".
  26. "Leslie Aspin – William J. Clinton Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  27. "William J. Perry – William J. Clinton Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  28. "II. Secretaries of Defense" (PDF). Washington Headquarters Services – Pentagon Digital Library. p. 10. Sworn in as secretary of defense on 3 February 1994 and served until 24 January 1997.
  29. "William S. Cohen – William J. Clinton Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  30. "Donald H. Rumsfeld – George W. Bush Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  31. "Robert M. Gates – George W. Bush / Barack Obama Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  32. "Leon E. Panetta – Barack Obama Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  33. "Chuck Hagel – Barack Obama Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  34. "Ashton B. Carter – Barack Obama Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  35. "James N. Mattis – Donald Trump Administration". Office of the Secretary of Defense – Historical Office.
  36. "PN583 — Patrick M. Shanahan — Department of Defense". www.congress.gov. Library of Congress. July 18, 2017. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  37. 37.0 37.1 "Dr. Mark T. Esper – Acting Secretary of Defense". United States Department of Defense. June 24, 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  38. "Letter from Acting Secretary of Defense Richard V. Spencer to Pentagon". USNI News. July 15, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.

Other websitesEdit

Secretary of Defense Took office Left office Time in office Party State of residence President
serving under
Ref
1Forrestal, JamesJames Forrestal
(1892–1949)
September 17, 1947March 28, 19491 year, 192 daysDemocraticNew YorkTruman, HarryHarry S Truman (Dem)[5]
2Johnson, LouisLouis A. Johnson
(1891–1966)
March 28, 1949September 19, 19501 year, 175 daysDemocraticWest VirginiaTruman, HarryHarry S Truman (Dem)[6]
3Marshall, GeorgeGeorge Marshall
(1880–1959)
September 21, 1950September 12, 1951356 daysIndependentPennsylvaniaTruman, HarryHarry S Truman (Dem)[7]
4Lovett, RobertRobert A. Lovett
(1895–1986)
September 17, 1951January 20, 19531 year, 125 daysRepublicanNew YorkTruman, HarryHarry S Truman (Dem)[8]
5Wilson, CharlesCharles Erwin Wilson
(1890–1961)
January 28, 1953October 8, 19574 years, 253 daysRepublicanMichiganEisenhower, DwightDwight D. Eisenhower (Rep)[9]
6McElroy, NeilNeil H. McElroy
(1904–1972)
October 9, 1957December 1, 19592 years, 53 daysRepublicanOhioEisenhower, DwightDwight D. Eisenhower (Rep)[10]
7Gates, ThomasThomas S. Gates Jr.
(1906–1983)
December 2, 1959January 20, 19611 year, 49 daysRepublicanPennsylvaniaEisenhower, DwightDwight D. Eisenhower (Rep)[11]
8McNamara, RobertRobert McNamara
(1916–2009)
January 21, 1961February 29, 19687 years, 39 daysRepublicanMichiganKennedy, JohnJohn F. Kennedy (Dem)
Lyndon B. Johnson (Dem)
[12]
9Clifford, ClarkClark Clifford
(1906–1998)
March 1, 1968January 20, 1969325 daysDemocraticMarylandJohnson, LyndonLyndon B. Johnson (Dem)[13]
10Laird, MelvinMelvin R. Laird
(1922–2016)
January 22, 1969January 29, 19734 years, 7 daysRepublicanWisconsinNixon, RichardRichard Nixon (Rep)[14]
11Richardson, ElliotElliot Richardson
(1920–1999)
January 30, 1973May 24, 1973114 daysRepublicanMassachusettsNixon, RichardRichard Nixon (Rep)[15]
Clements, BillBill Clements
(1917–2011)
Acting
May 24, 1973July 2, 1973[source?]39 daysRepublicanTexasNixon, RichardRichard Nixon (Rep)[16]
12Schlesinger, JamesJames R. Schlesinger
(1929–2014)
July 2, 1973November 19, 19751 year, 38 daysRepublicanVirginiaNixon, RichardRichard Nixon (Rep)
Gerald Ford (Rep)
[17]
13Rumsfeld, DonaldDonald Rumsfeld
(born 1932)
November 20, 1975January 20, 19771 year, 61 daysRepublicanIllinoisFord, GeraldGerald Ford (Rep)[18]
14Brown, HaroldHarold Brown
(1927–2019)
January 20, 1977January 20, 19814 years, 0 daysIndependentCaliforniaCarter, JimmyJimmy Carter (Dem)[19]
15Weinberger, CasparCaspar Weinberger
(1917–2006)
January 21, 1981November 23, 19876 years, 306 daysRepublicanCaliforniaReagan, RonaldRonald Reagan (Rep)[20]
16Carlucci, FrankFrank Carlucci
(1930–2018)
November 23, 1987January 20, 19891 year, 58 daysRepublicanVirginiaReagan, RonaldRonald Reagan (Rep)[21]
Taft, WilliamWilliam Howard Taft IV
(born 1945)
Acting
January 20, 1989March 21, 198960 daysRepublicanOhioBush, GeorgeGeorge H. W. Bush (Rep)[22]
17Cheney, DickDick Cheney
(born 1941)
March 21, 1989January 20, 19933 years, 305 daysRepublicanWyomingBush, GeorgeGeorge H. W. Bush (Rep)[23]
18Aspin, LesLeslie Aspin
(1938–1995)
January 20, 1993[24][25]February 3, 19941 year, 14 daysDemocraticWisconsinClinton, BillBill Clinton (Dem)[26]
19Perry, WilliamWilliam Perry
(born 1927)
February 3, 1994January 23, 1997[27] / January 24, 1997[24][28]2 years, 356 daysIndependentPennsylvaniaClinton, BillBill Clinton (Dem).
20Cohen, WilliamWilliam Cohen
(born 1940)
January 24, 1997January 20, 20013 years, 362 daysRepublicanMaineClinton, BillBill Clinton (Dem)[29]
21Rumsfeld, DonaldDonald Rumsfeld
(born 1932)
January 20, 2001December 18, 20065 years, 332 days
(7 years, 29 days total)
RepublicanIllinoisBush, George W.George W. Bush (Rep)[30]
22Gates, RobertRobert Gates
(born 1943)
December 18, 2006June 30, 2011[31] / July 1, 2011[24]4 years, 194 daysRepublicanTexasBush, George W.George W. Bush (Rep)
Barack Obama (Dem)
.
23Panetta, LeonLeon Panetta
(born 1938)
July 1, 2011February 26, 20131 year, 240 daysDemocraticCaliforniaObama, BarackBarack Obama (Dem)[32]
24Hagel, ChuckChuck Hagel
(born 1946)
February 27, 2013February 17, 20151 year, 355 daysRepublicanNebraskaObama, BarackBarack Obama (Dem)[33]
25Carter, AshAsh Carter
(born 1954)
February 17, 2015January 19, 20171 year, 337 daysDemocraticMassachusettsObama, BarackBarack Obama (Dem)[34][24]
26Mattis, JimJim Mattis
(born 1950)
January 20, 2017December 31, 20181 year, 345 daysIndependentWashingtonTrump, DonaldDonald Trump (Rep)[35]
Shanahan, PatrickPatrick M. Shanahan
(born 1962)
Acting
January 1, 2019June 23, 2019173 daysIndependentWashingtonTrump, DonaldDonald Trump (Rep)[36]
Esper, MarkMark Esper
(born 1964)
Acting
June 24, 2019July 15, 201921 daysRepublicanVirginiaTrump, DonaldDonald Trump (Rep)[37]
Esper, MarkRichard V. Spencer
(born 1954)
Acting
July 15, 2019July 23, 20198 daysIndependentWyomingTrump, DonaldDonald Trump (Rep)[38]
27Esper, MarkMark Esper
(born 1964)
July 23, 2019Incumbent135 daysRepublicanVirginiaTrump, DonaldDonald Trump (Rep)[37]