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Department of the Navy (United States)

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The U.S. Department of the Navy is a subcabinet agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. This agency is headed by a civilian appointee under which are various civilian offices, and two military services, the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. The professional heads of the services, respectively, are the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), and the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC). Even though the CNO and CMC report to SecNav, none of the three currently have control over the operating forces of the U.S. Navy or United States Marine Corps.

The Department of the Navy was created in 1798, with its own secretary. Nine years earlier Congress created the War Department, headed by the Secretary of War. As a result of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, the Navy department was merged into the "National Military Establishment," which was renamed the Department of Defense in 1949. SecNav then began to report to the Secretary of Defense (SecDef). Both the SecDef and SecNav are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and serve at the pleasure of the President.