Joint Chiefs of Staff

 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

The Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act of 1986 identifies the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the senior ranking member of the Armed Forces. As such, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military adviser to the President. He may seek the advice of and consult with the other JCS members and combatant commanders. When he presents his advice, he presents the range of advice and opinions he has received, along with any individual comments of the other JCS members.

Under the DOD Reorganization Act, the Secretaries of the Military Departments assign all forces to combatant commands except those assigned to carry out the mission of the Services, i.e., recruit, organize, supply, equip, train, service, mobilize, demobilize, administer and maintain their respective forces. The chain of command to these combatant commands runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense directly to the commander of the combatant command. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff may transmit communications to the commanders of the combatant commands from the President and Secretary of Defense but does not exercise military command over any combatant forces.

The Act also gives to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff some of the functions and responsibilities previously assigned to the corporate body of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The broad functions of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are set forth in Title 10, United States Code, and detailed in DOD Directive 5100.1. In carrying out his duties, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff consults with and seeks the advice of the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the combatant commanders, as he considers appropriate.

The Chairmen
1st
General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley
 
General of the Army
Omar Nelson Bradley
Aug. 16, 1949 - Aug. 15, 1953
2nd
Admiral Arthur William Radford
 
Admiral
Arthur William Radford
Aug. 15, 1953 - Aug. 15, 1957
3rd
General Nathan Farragut Twining
 
General
Nathan Farragut Twining
Aug. 15, 1957 - Sept. 30, 1960
4th
General Lyman Louis Lemnitzer
 
General
Lyman Louis Lemnitzer
Oct. 1, 1960 - Sept. 30, 1962
5th
General Maxwell Davenport Taylor
 
General
Maxwell Davenport Taylor
Oct. 1, 1962 - July 1, 1964
6th
General Earle Gilmore Wheeler
 
General
Earle Gilmore Wheeler
July 3, 1964 - July 2, 1970
7th
Admiral Thomas Hinman Moorer
 
Admiral
Thomas Hinman Moorer
July 2, 1970 - July 1, 1974
8th
General George Scratchley Brown
 
General
George Scratchley Brown
July 1, 1974 - June 20, 1978
9th
General David Charles Jones
 
General
David Charles Jones
June 21, 1978 - June 18, 1982
10th
General John William Vessey, Jr.
 
General
John William Vessey, Jr.
June 18, 1982 - Sept. 30, 1985
11th
Admiral William James Crowe, Jr.
 
Admiral
William James Crowe, Jr.
Oct. 1, 1985 - Sept. 30, 1989
12th
General Colin Luther Powell
 
General
Colin Luther Powell
Oct. 1, 1989 - Sept. 30, 1993
13th
General John Shalikashvili
 
General
John Shalikashvili
Oct. 25, 1993 - Sept. 30, 1997
14th
General Henry Hugh Shelton
 
General
Henry Hugh Shelton
Oct. 1, 1997 - Sept. 30, 2001
15th
General Richard Bowman Myers
 
General
Richard Bowman Myers
Oct. 1, 2001 - Sept. 30, 2005
16th
General Peter Pace
 
General
Peter Pace
Oct. 1, 2005 - Sept. 30, 2005
17th
Admiral Michael Glenn Mullen
 
Admiral
Michael Glenn Mullen
Oct. 1, 2007 - Sept. 30, 2011
18th
General Martin Edward Dempsey
 
General
Martin Edward Dempsey
Oct. 1, 2011 - Present