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Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (abbrev. "ASN") is the title given to certain senior officials in the U.S. Department of the Navy. They serve as chief assistants to the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV). As of 2004, there are four Assistant Secretaries of the Navy:
- Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition
- Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower & Reserve Affairs
- Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Financial Management & Comptroller
- Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations & Environment
The Assistant Secretaries report to the Under Secretary of the Navy, the Navy's number-two civilian officer.
The General Counsel of the Department of the Navy is on the same organizational level as the Assistant Secretaries, and also reports to the Under Secretary.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy was established in 1861, to provide a senior deputy to the Secretary. The Assistant Secretary was responsible for the Navy's civilian personnel, as well as for administration of shore facilities (such as naval bases and shipyards). The office was disestablished in 1869, during Reconstruction, but was reestablished by Congress on July 11, 1890.
The Assistant Secretary was the Navy's number-two civilian until 1940, when Congress established the position of Under Secretary of the Navy , who was given oversight of the Assistant Secretary's activities. James V. Forrestal, later Secretary of Defense, was the first to serve as Under Secretary; he held the post until 1944, when he became Secretary of the Navy.
During the 20th century, the responsibilities of the Assistant Secretary were divided among several officials. During the 1920's, for example, to reflect the increasing importance of naval aviation, Congress established the position of Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air.
Famous Assistant Secretaries of the Navy
- U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy from 1897-1898, during the William McKinley administration.
- President Theodore Roosevelt's son Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., held the office during the Harding administration of the early 1920's. His name became linked to the "Teapot Dome" scandal, though he himself was cleared of all charges.
- U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, cousin to Theodore Roosevelt, held the position from 1913-1920 as a member of the Wilson administration. In this position, he helped to implement Navy policies during World War I.
- 80.3.1 Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy General Records of the Department of the Navy, 1798-1947 (Record Group 80) 1804-1958, from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
- Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C. Source for papers and photos of various Assistant Secretaries of the Navy
- Navy Organization - The Secretariat An organizational chart for the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Dept. of the Navy
- Sea Flags: Navy Department Personal Flags Includes images of the flags flown by the Assistant Secretary and the Under Secretary
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