Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a panel comprising the highest-ranking members of each major branch of the armed services in any particular country. The following information refers to the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Armed Forces, but similar arrangements are common in other nations.
The current Joint Chiefs of Staff are:
On July 20, 1942, Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy became the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy. He was not technically the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That post was established and first held by General of the Army Omar Bradley in 1949.
After the 1986 reorganization of the military undertaken by the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the Joint Chiefs of Staff do not have operational command of U.S. military forces. Responsibility for conducting military operations goes directly from the Secretary of Defense to the head of the United States combatant commands and the chain of command bypasses the Joint Chiefs of Staff completely. Today, their primary responsibility is to ensure the readiness of their respective military services. The Joint Chiefs of Staff also act in an advisory military capacity for the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense. In addition, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff acts as the chief military advisor to the President.
- Four Stars: The Inside Story of the Forty-Year Battle Between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and America's Civilian Leaders, Mark Perry, Houghton Mifflin, 1989, hardcover: 412 pages, ISBN 0395429234
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