The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) is, by U.S. law, the highest-ranking and senior-most military officer in the United States Armed Forces and is the principal military advisor to the President, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense. While the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff outranks all other commissioned officers, they are prohibited by law from having operational command authority over the armed forces; however, the Chairman does assist the President and the Secretary of Defense in exercising their command functions.
The Chairman convenes the meetings and coordinates the efforts of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), an advisory body within the Department of Defense comprising the Chairman, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. The post of a statutory and permanent Joint Chiefs of Staff chair was created by the 1949 amendments to the National Security Act of 1947. The 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act elevated the Chairman from the first among equals to becoming the "principal military advisor" to the President and the Secretary of Defense.
The Joint Staff, managed by the Director of the Joint Staff and consisting of military personnel from all the services, assists the Chairman in fulfilling his duties to the President and Secretary of Defense, and functions as a conduit and collector of information between the Chairman and the combatant commanders. The National Military Command Center (NMCC) is part of the Joint Staff operations directorate (J-3).
Although the office of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is considered very important and highly prestigious, neither the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, nor the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a body has any command authority over combatant forces. The Goldwater-Nichols Act places the chain of command from the President to the Secretary of Defense directly to the commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands. However the services chiefs do have authority over personnel assignments and oversight over resources and personnel allocated to the combatant commands within their respective services (derived from the service secretaries).
The Chairman may also transmit communications to the combatant commanders from the President and Secretary of Defense as well as allocate additional funding to the combatant commanders if necessary. The Chairman also performs all other functions prescribed under 10 U.S.C. § 153 or allocates those duties and responsibilities to other officers in the joint staff under his or her name.
|Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff|
Seal of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Flag of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
|Joint Chiefs of Staff|
United States Department of Defense
|Status||Highest-ranking military officer|
|Member of||Joint Chiefs of Staff|
National Security Council
|Reports to||President of the United States|
Secretary of Defense
|Seat||The Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia|
|Nominator||Secretary of Defense|
with Senate advice and consent
|Term length||2 years, renewable|
|Constituting instrument||10 U.S.C. § 153|
|Precursor||Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy|
|Formation||August 19, 1949|
|First holder||General of the Army Omar Bradley|
|Deputy||Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff|
Director of the Joint Staff (Joint Staff)
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman (Enlisted Matters)
The principal deputy to the Chairman is the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), another four-star general or admiral, who among many duties chairs the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC).
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is assisted by the Joint Staff, led by the Director of the Joint Staff, a three-star general or admiral. The Joint Staff is an organization composed of approximately equal numbers of officers contributed by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, who have been assigned to assist the Chairman with the unified strategic direction, operation, and integration of the combatant land, naval, and air forces. The National Military Command Center (NMCC) is part of the Joint Staff operations directorate (J-3).
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is also advised on enlisted personnel matters by the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, who serves as a communication conduit between the Chairman and the senior enlisted advisors (command sergeants major, command master chief petty officers, and command chief master sergeants) of the combatant commands.
Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, USN, served as the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief from 20 July 1942 to 21 March 1949. He presided over meetings of what was called the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Leahy's office was the precursor to the post of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, created in 1942.
The Chairman is nominated by the President for appointment and must be confirmed via majority vote by the Senate. The Chairman and Vice Chairman may not be members of the same armed force service branch. However, the President may waive that restriction for a limited period of time in order to provide for the orderly transition of officers appointed to serve in those positions. The Chairman serves a two-year term of office at the pleasure of the President, but can be reappointed to serve two additional terms for a total of six years, as long as the Chairman has not previously served a term as Vice Chairman, in which case the Chairman would be limited to serving up to two terms. However, in a time of war or national emergency, there is no limit to how many times an officer can be reappointed to serve as Chairman. Historically, the Chairman has served two terms. By statute, the Chairman is appointed as a four-star general or admiral while holding office and assumes office on October 1 of odd-numbered years.
Although the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Omar Bradley, was eventually awarded a fifth star, the CJCS does not receive one by right, and Bradley's award was so that his subordinate, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, would not outrank him.
According to the 2017 Military Pay Table (effective January 1, 2017), basic pay for flag officers is limited by Level II of the Executive Schedule, which is $15,583.20 per month. This includes officers serving as Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chief of Staff of the Army, Chief of Naval Operations, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Commandant of the Coast Guard, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, or commander of a unified or specified combatant command.
Beginning in 2019, the Chairman's statutory term length will increase from two years to a single four-year term, with reappointment only possible in times of war or national emergency.
|№||Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Defence branch||Secretaries||President|
William D. Leahy
|July 20, 1942||March 21, 1949||6 years, 244 days|
|Henry L. Stimson|
Robert P. Patterson
Kenneth C. Royall
James V. Forrestal
|Franklin D. Roosevelt|
Harry S. Truman
|№||Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Defence branch||Secretaries||President|
|1||General of the Army|
|August 19, 1949||August 15, 1953||3 years, 361 days|
|Louis A. Johnson|
George C. Marshall
Robert A. Lovett
|Harry S. Truman|
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Arthur W. Radford
|August 15, 1953||August 15, 1957||4 years, 0 days|
|Charles Erwin Wilson||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
Nathan F. Twining
|August 15, 1957||September 30, 1960||3 years, 46 days|
US Air Force
|Charles Erwin Wilson|
Neil H. McElroy
Thomas S. Gates
|Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|October 1, 1960||September 30, 1962||2 years, 0 days|
|Thomas S. Gates|
|Dwight D. Eisenhower|
John F. Kennedy
Maxwell D. Taylor
|October 1, 1962||July 1, 1964||1 year, 275 days|
|Robert McNamara||John F. Kennedy|
Lyndon B. Johnson
|July 3, 1964||July 2, 1970||5 years, 364 days|
|Lyndon B. Johnson|
Thomas H. Moorer
|July 2, 1970||July 1, 1974||3 years, 364 days|
James R. Schlesinger
George S. Brown
|July 1, 1974||June 20, 1978||3 years, 354 days|
US Air Force
|James R. Schlesinger|
David C. Jones
|June 21, 1978||June 18, 1982||3 years, 362 days|
US Air Force
John William Vessey Jr.
|June 18, 1982||September 30, 1985||3 years, 104 days|
|Caspar Weinberger||Ronald Reagan|
William J. Crowe
|October 1, 1985||September 30, 1989||3 years, 364 days|
George H.W. Bush
|October 1, 1989||September 30, 1993||3 years, 364 days|
|George H.W. Bush|
David E. Jeremiah
|October 1, 1993||October 24, 1993||23 days|
|Les Aspin||Bill Clinton|
|October 25, 1993||September 30, 1997||3 years, 341 days|
William J. Perry
William S. Cohen
|October 1, 1997||September 30, 2001||3 years, 364 days|
|William S. Cohen|
George W. Bush
|September 30, 2001||September 30, 2005||4 years, 0 days|
US Air Force
|Donald Rumsfeld||George W. Bush|
|October 1, 2005||September 30, 2007||1 year, 364 days|
Robert M. Gates
|George W. Bush|
|October 1, 2007||September 30, 2011||3 years, 364 days|
|Robert M. Gates|
|George W. Bush|
|October 1, 2011||September 25, 2015||3 years, 359 days|
|October 1, 2015||Incumbent||3 years, 171 days|
Bradley received his fifth star in 1950 when he became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff so he would not be outranked by MacArthur.
MacArthur, having been army chief of staff before World War II, was senior to everyone on the Joint Chiefs, and some observers felt that Bradley was given his fifth star in order to deal with the vainglorious field commander on an equal footing.
There was some discussion of the proposal to grant the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs five-star rank, as a symbol of his status as the most senior officer in the armed forces.
Promoting the Chairman to the five-star rank and ceding to him operational and administrative control of all U.S. Armed Forces would enable him to provide a unifying vision...
...Chairman's title be changed to Commander of the Armed Forces and commensurate with the title and authority he be assigned the grade of five stars.
The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) is, in principle, the highest-ranking and senior most military officer, typically at four-star rank, in the Pakistan Armed Forces who serves as a principal military adviser to the civilian government led by elected Prime minister of Pakistan and his/her National Security Council. The role of advisement is also extended to the elected members in the bicameral Parliament and the Ministry of Defence. The Chairman leads the meetings and coordinates the combined efforts of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC), comprising the Chairman, the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Air Staff and the Chief of Naval Staff, Commandant of Marines, DG Strategic Plans Division, and commanders of the service branches in the paramilitary command.Even as the Principal Staff Officer (PSO), the Chairman does not have any authority over the command of the combatant forces. The individual service chiefs are solely responsible for the coordination and logistics of the armed and combatant forces. Due to this constraint, the chiefs of army, air force, navy and marines are much in command and control of their respected commands.The Chairman's mandate is to transmit strategic communications to the combatant commanders from the Prime minister and President as well as allocate additional funding to the combatant commanders if necessary. The Chairman is nominated and appointed by the Prime Minister; and is finally confirmed by the President. Unlike United States's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the appointment of Chairman does not need confirmation via majority vote by the Parliament. Although, the appointment needs confirmation from the Prime minister. By statute, the Chairman is appointed as a four-star general, four-star air chief marshal and/or four star admiral. By law required, all four-star officers are required to have vast experience in joint uniformed services of Pakistan during their 40-year-long military careers.The post of CJCSC was created by former Prime minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in March 1976, and the first Chairman was four star rank officer, General Muhammad Shariff. The current holder of the office is General Zubair Mahmood Hayat appointed in 2016.
Graduated from Cantt Public School (F G Cantt Public School) Malir Cantt Karachi in 1976.Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award (JDCSA). This award is the highest-ranking CJCS civilian service award under the approval authority of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, previously the chief of staff, is the office for the head of the Jordanian Armed Forces held by a Lieutenant general or higher ranking officers.Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
The Chief of Staff of the Air Force (acronym: CSAF, or AF/CC) is a statutory office (10 U.S.C. § 9033) held by a four-star general in the United States Air Force, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Air Force, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Air Force; and is in a separate capacity a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and thereby a military adviser to the National Security Council, the Secretary of Defense, and the President. The Chief of Staff is typically the highest-ranking officer on active duty in the Air Force unless the Chairman and/or the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are Air Force officers.
The Chief of Staff of the Air Force is an administrative position based in the Pentagon, and while the Chief of Staff does not have operational command authority over Air Force forces (that is within the purview of the Combatant Commanders who report to the Secretary of Defense), the Chief of Staff does exercise supervision of Air Force units and organizations as the designee of the Secretary of the Air Force.
The current Chief of Staff of the Air Force is General David L. Goldfein.Deputy's Advisory Working Group
The Deputy's Advisory Working Group (DAWG) was a senior level review panel for the United States Department of Defense. The DAWG was co-chaired by the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The DAWG used to be known as the 'Group of 12'. It represents the most senior panel of civilian and military leaders within the Pentagon. The DAWG was superseded by the Deputy Secretary's Management Action Group (DMAG) on October 6, 2011.Earle Wheeler
Earle Gilmore Wheeler (January 13, 1908 – December 18, 1975), nicknamed Bus, was a United States Army general who served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1962 to 1964 and then as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1964–1970), holding the latter position during the Vietnam War.Edmund Giambastiani
Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. (born May 4, 1948) is a retired United States Navy admiral who served as the seventh Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2005 to 2007. He retired in 2007, after 37 years of service.James A. Winnefeld Jr.
James Alexander "Sandy" Winnefeld Jr. (born April 24, 1956) is a retired United States Navy admiral who served as the ninth Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from August 4, 2011 to July 31, 2015. He previously served as the fourth Commander, U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and the 21st Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) from May 19, 2010 to August 3, 2011. Prior to that, Winnefeld served as Director for Strategic Plans and Policy, The Joint Staff which he concurrently served as the Senior Member, U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Military Staff Committee. His other operational commands include serving as the Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet and Commander, Allied Joint Command Lisbon. As the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Winnefeld was the second highest-ranking officer in the United States Armed Forces, second only to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 2015, he retired from the Navy after over 37 years of service.Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council and the National Security Council on military matters. The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by statute and consists of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), the Military Service Chiefs from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, all appointed by the President following Senate confirmation. Each of the individual Military Service Chiefs, outside their Joint Chiefs of Staff obligations, works directly for the Secretary of the Military Department concerned, i.e., Secretary of the Army, Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Air Force.Following the Goldwater–Nichols Act in 1986, the Joint Chiefs of Staff do not have operational command authority, either individually or collectively, as the chain of command goes from the President to the Secretary of Defense, and from the Secretary of Defense to the Commanders of the Combatant Commands. Goldwater–Nichols also created the office of Vice Chairman, and the Chairman is now designated as the principal military adviser to the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President.The Joint Staff (JS) is a headquarters staff in the Pentagon, composed of personnel from each of the five armed services, that assists the Chairman and the Vice Chairman in discharging their responsibilities and is managed by the Director of the Joint Staff (DJS), who is a lieutenant general or Navy vice admiral.Joint Chiefs of Staff (South Korea)
The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Republic of Korea (Korean: 대한민국 합동참모본부, Hanja: 大韓民國 合同參謀本部) is a group of Chiefs from each major branch of the armed services in the South Korean military. Unlike the United States' counterpart which is primarily advisory, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has actual operational control over all military personnel of South Korea's armed forces. The National Command Authority runs from the President and the Minister of National Defense to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then to Operational Commands of the service branches, bypassing the Headquarters of each service branch. Currently there are five Operational Commands in the Army, two in the Navy (including the Marine Corps) and one in the Air Force.
It was created in May 1954 and assumed its current name in 1963, though there had been Supreme Command of the Armed Forces dating from 1948.
All (regular) members of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs are 4-star generals and admirals, though the Deputy Chairman in the past has been 3-star lieutenant general or vice admiral intermittently. Traditionally, the Chairman is chosen from the Army (with one previous and one current exceptions as October 2013) while the Deputy Chairman is selected from either the Navy or the Air Force. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, legally subordinate to the Republic of Korea Navy, can attend the Joint Chiefs of Staff meetings when examining the matter pertaining to the Marine Corps.Joseph Dunford
Joseph Francis Dunford Jr. (born December 8, 1955) is a United States Marine Corps general and the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was also the 36th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Dunford is the first Marine Corps officer to serve in four different four-star positions; the others include commander of the International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces – Afghanistan from February 2013 until August 2014, and as the 32nd Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps from October 23, 2010, to December 15, 2012. He has also commanded several units, including the 5th Marine Regiment during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
As Chairman, Dunford is, by U.S. law, the highest-ranking and most senior military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and reports directly to the National Security Council, Secretary of Defense and President of the United States.Martin Dempsey
Martin Edward Dempsey (born March 14, 1952), sometimes known as Marty Dempsey, is a retired United States Army general who served as the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 1, 2011 until September 25, 2015. He previously served as the 37th Chief of Staff of the Army from April 11, 2011, to September 7, 2011. Prior to that, he served as Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, from December 8, 2008, to April 11, 2011, as Acting Commander, U.S. Central Command, from March 24, 2008, to October 30, 2008, as Deputy Commander, U.S. Central Command, from August 2007 to March 23, 2008, and as Commanding General, Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq (MNSTC-I), from August 2005 to August 2007. Dempsey assumed his assignment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 1, 2011 and stepped down from the Chairmanship on September 25, 2015. He now serves as a professor at Duke University.Michael Mullen
Michael Glenn Mullen, AO, MSC (born October 4, 1946) is a retired United States Navy admiral, who served as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 1, 2007, to September 30, 2011.
Mullen previously served as the Navy's 28th Chief of Naval Operations from July 22, 2005, to September 29, 2007. He was only the third officer in the Navy's history to be appointed to four different four-star assignments; the other appointments being the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples from October 2004 to May 2005, and as the 32nd Vice Chief of Naval Operations from August 2003 to August 2004. As Chairman, Mullen was the highest-ranking officer in the United States Armed Forces. He retired from the Navy after over 42 years of service. Since 2012, Mullen has been a visiting professor at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
The Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge is a United States military badge presented to the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff upon appointment to position as either a Service Head, Vice Chairman, or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The decoration is also authorized to staff and support personnel assigned to the Office of the Chairman and the Joint Staff. Individuals may qualify for permanent wear of this badge after being assigned for one year on active duty or two years as a reservist.Paul J. Selva
Paul Joseph Selva (born September 27, 1958) is a United States Air Force general who is the 10th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the nation's second highest-ranking military officer, and the highest-ranking officer in the Air Force. He assumed his current assignment on July 31, 2015.Peter Pace
Peter Pace (born November 5, 1945) is a United States Marine Corps general who served as the 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Pace was the first Marine officer appointed as chairman, and the first Marine officer to be appointed to three different four-star assignments; the others as the 6th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 1, 2001, to August 12, 2005, and as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Southern Command from September 8, 2000, to September 30, 2001. Appointed chairman by President George W. Bush, Pace succeeded U.S. Air Force General Richard Myers on September 30, 2005.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced on June 8, 2007, that he would advise the President to not renominate Pace for a second term. Pace retired from the Marine Corps and stepped down as chairman on October 1, 2007. He was replaced by Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Mullen.Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SEAC) is a military position within the United States Department of Defense and is the most senior noncommissioned or petty officer overall in the United States Armed Forces. The SEAC is appointed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to serve as a spokesperson to address the issues of enlisted personnel to the highest positions in the Department of Defense. As such, the SEAC is the senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and serves at the pleasure of the Secretary of Defense. The SEAC's exact duties vary, depending on the Chairman, though he generally devotes much time traveling throughout the Department of Defense observing training and communicating to service members and their families. The normal tour of assignment is four years, which runs concurrently with the Chairman. The first member to hold this post was William Gainey. On 11 December 2015, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, administered the Oath of Office to CSM John W. Troxell, USA. Troxell became the third member and second soldier to hold the office.Thomas Hinman Moorer
Thomas Hinman Moorer (February 9, 1912 – February 5, 2004) was an admiral and naval aviator in the United States Navy who served as Chief of Naval Operations from 1967 to 1970, and as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1970 to 1974.Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VJCS) is, by U.S. law, the second highest-ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, ranking just below the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Vice Chairman outranks all respective heads of each service branch, with the exception of the Chairman, but does not have operational command authority over their service branches. The Goldwater–Nichols Act of 1986 created the position of VCJCS to assist the Chairman in exercising his or her duties. In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman presides over the meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all other duties prescribed under 10 U.S.C. § 153 and may also perform other duties that the President, the Chairman, or the Secretary of Defense prescribes.