Liberty Nation GenZ: News for Kids

News and Current Events Through the Lens of America’s Founding Principles

🔍 Search

Secretary of Defense: Sixth in Line to be President

The defense secretary is the sixth person in the line of succession if a president dies in office.

By:  |  February 11, 2021  |    379 Words

The secretary of defense is a part of the president’s cabinet and is typically one of his most important advisers on matters regarding foreign policy. The current secretary of defense is General Lloyd Austin. The secretary’s job is to manage the overall operations of the military and handle communication between the armed forces and the president.

The secretary of defense, much like the secretary of state, also advises the president on matters related to military engagements. The secretary is responsible for making suggestions as to how a war or other type of military operation should be carried out.

The secretary of defense is sixth in the presidential line of succession. This means that if the president, vice president, speaker of the House, president pro tempore of the Senate, secretary of state, and secretary of the treasury all die at the same time, he would become the president.

 Department of Defense

The Defense Department exists to manage America’s armed forces and protect the country’s national security. Its headquarters is located at the Pentagon, which is situated right outside of Washington, D.C. in Arlington, VA.

People working in the Defense Department perform a variety of functions including research and development, overseeing military operations, buying weapons and equipment, and communicating with other nations on military matters.

History of the Defense Department

General Lloyd Austin

General Lloyd Austin – Secretary of Defense

The Army, Navy, and Marine Corps were created in 1775 during the American Revolutionary War. In 1789, the War Department was established, but the name was later changed to the Department of Defense. In 1947, the government decided to unite the three departments, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, under one department. The U.S. Air Force was created later in that same year.

The highest-ranking members of each branch of the military serve as the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Along with managing their respective agencies, they also serve as an advisory panel for the defense secretary.

The secretary of defense is one of the most critical roles in the federal government. National security is an essential component for ensuring the safety of American citizens. Without a strong military, it would be easier for America’s enemies to destroy the country.

Behind the News

Digging Deeper