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Joint Chiefs of Staff

JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF

JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF (JCS) came into existence in 1942. The JCS consisted of the chief of staff, U.S. Army; the chief of naval operations; and the chief of staff, U.S. Air Force. Their functions were to advise the president on the military, give strategic direction to the army and navy, and facilitate U.S.-British military cooperation. In 1949, an amendment to the National Security Act of 1947 established the position of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the chairman was to preside over the meetings of the JCS, but had no vote. Moreover, he was not to exercise military command over the JCS or any of the military services. In 1952, Public Law 82-416 authorized the commandant of the Marine Corps to meet with the JCS as a co-equal whenever any matter concerning the Marine Corps was under consideration. On 28 October 1978, Public Law 95-485 made the commandant of the corps a permanent and fully participating member of the JCS.

The Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 prescribed the most important changes in the Joint Chiefs of Staff organization since 1949. It increased the responsibilities of the chairman, naming him the principal adviser to the president, the National Security Council, and the secretary of defense. The chairman was to attend and participate in meetings of the National Security Council, and his responsibilities were expanded to include assisting the president with strategic direction of the armed forces; preparing strategic plans and joint logistic and mobility plans; and advising the secretary of defense on requirements, programs, and budgets, particularly on budget proposals for activities of each unified and specified combatant command. In addition, the act created the position of vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to rank after the chairman and ahead of all other officers of the armed forces.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Millett, Allan R. The Reorganization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: A Critical Analysis. Washington, D.C.: Pergamon-Brassey's, 1986.

Robert S.Driscoll

See alsoDefense, Department of ; National Security Council .

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Joint Chiefs of Staff

Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. statutory agency, created in 1949 within the Dept. of Defense. The chairman is the principal military adviser to the President, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense. Members include the chairman, appointed by the President with Senate approval; the chief of staff, U.S. army; the chief of naval operations; the chief of staff, U.S. air force; the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and a vice chairman who manages the Joint Staff. The Joint Chiefs prepare military plans and direct unified and other combat commands under the Secretary of Defense.

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Joint Chiefs of Staff

Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) US military body, principal advisors to the president, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense. Its responsibilities include planning the strategy of the armed forces. The JCS consists of a chairman and the chiefs of staff of the Army, Air Force and Navy, and, when necessary, the commandant of the Marine Corps.

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Joint Chiefs of Staff

Joint Chiefs of Staff • n. the chiefs of staff of the U.S. Army and Air Force, the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and the chief of U.S. Naval Operations. This group's chairman, selected from one of the branches, is the highest-ranking military adviser to the president of the U.S.

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