United States Secretary of Defense

From Citizendium
(Redirected from U.S. Secretary of Defense)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is a stub and thus not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
This editable Main Article is under development and subject to a disclaimer.

The United States Secretary of Defense (SecDef) is the civilian official with direct authority over all the military and civilian personnel of the United States Department of Defense. Robert M. Gates is the incumbent.


Originally, the United States had a separate Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy, heading separate cabinet-level departments.

With the passage of the National Security Act of 1947[1], the Department superseded the War Department and Department of the Navy. This Act created the Office of the Secretary of Defense, moved the heads of the War and Navy Departments to rank equivalent to Assistant Secretary of Defense, and created a Secretary of the Air Force.