Secretary of the Army (U.S.)

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In the U.S. government, the Secretary of the Army is the civilian head of the U.S. Department of the Army, now a subordinate organization of the U.S. Department of Defense. As of 2009, the incumbent is former New York Congressman John McHugh.

Historically, the position descends from the Constitutionally defined Secretary of War position in the Cabinet, which was co-equal with the Secretary of the Navy. When the National Security Act of 1947 consolidated the military services, the service secretaries became subordinate to the Secretary of Defense. They remain important positions, and indeed have been returned to historical precedence in the Obama Administration. The Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, respectively, are the most senior officials in the Defense Department, after the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Neither the Secretary of the Army, nor the senior uniformed Army officer, the Chief of Staff of the Army, have operational authority over troops in the field. They are responsible for policy, budget, and preparation of troops under the National Command Authority and the regional Unified Combatant Commanders.