The president of the United States serves a variety of different functions, but one of the most important is commander in chief of the military. When the United States was created, the founding fathers believed it was important to ensure that the civilian government would have control over the armed forces to prevent them from using their power to take over.
The secretary of defense is part of the president’s cabinet and heads the department responsible for handling military matters and activities on American soil and abroad. The Department of Defense is tasked with safeguarding the United States and American interests globally.
Secretary of Defense
Currently, General Lloyd Austin is serving in this role under President Joe Biden. The secretary’s job is to manage the overall operations of the military and handle communication between the armed forces and the president. He advises the commander in chief and Congress on programs that should be expanded, canceled, or changed. The secretary also makes recommendations regarding the budget for each program.
The secretary of defense, much like the secretary of state, is also tasked with advising 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 executed.
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, purchasing weapons and equipment, and communicating with other nations on military matters.
History of the Defense Department
The Army, Navy, and Marine Corps were created in 1775 during the American Revolutionary War. In 1789, the War Department was established and later rebranded as 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.