|United States Secretary of the Army|
Flag of the Secretary
|United States Department of the Army|
|Reports to||Secretary of Defense|
with the advice and consent of the Senate
|Term length||No fixed term|
|Precursor||Secretary of War|
|Formation||September 18, 1947|
|First holder||Kenneth Claiborne Royall|
|Succession||2nd in SecDef succession|
(principal civilian deputy)
Chief of Staff
(military advisor and deputy)
|Salary||Executive Schedule, level II|
The secretary of the Army (SA, SECARM or SECARMY) is a senior civilian official within the Department of Defense of the United States with statutory responsibility for all matters relating to the United States Army: manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and equipment acquisition, communications, and financial management.
The secretary of the Army is nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The secretary is a non-Cabinet level official serving under the secretary of defense. This position was created on September 18, 1947, replacing the secretary of war, when the Department of War was split into the Department of the Army and Department of the Air Force.
On September 26, 2019, Ryan McCarthy was confirmed as the Secretary of the Army, and was sworn in to office on September 30, 2019.
The senior leadership of the Department of the Army consists of two civilians--the secretary of the army and the under secretary of the Army--and two military officers of four-star rank--the chief of staff of the Army and the vice chief of staff of the Army.
The secretary of the Army (10 U.S.C. § 3013) is in effect the chief executive officer of the Department of the Army, and the chief of staff of the Army works directly for the secretary of the Army. The secretary presents and justifies Army policies, plans, programs, and budgets to the secretary of defense, other executive branch officials, and to the Congressional Defense Committees. The secretary also communicates Army policies, plans, programs, capabilities, and accomplishments to the public. As necessary, the secretary convenes meetings with the senior leadership of the Army to debate issues, provide direction, and seek advice. The Secretary is a member of the Defense Acquisition Board.
The secretary of the Army has several responsibilities under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including the authority to convene general courts-martial. Other duties include management of the Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army Program.
The Office of the Secretary of the Army is composed of the under secretary of the Army, the assistant secretaries of the Army, the administrative assistant to the secretary of the Army, the general counsel of the Department of the Army, the inspector general of the Army, the chief of Legislative liaison, and the Army Reserve Forces Policy Committee. Other offices may be established by law or by the secretary of the Army. No more than 1,865 officers of the Army on the active-duty list may be assigned or detailed to permanent duty in the Office of the Secretary of the Army and on the Army staff.
Kenneth Claiborne Royall, the last secretary of war, became the first secretary of the army when the National Defense Act of 1947 took effect. Gordon Gray was the last Army secretary to hold the cabinet status, which was henceforth assigned to the secretary of defense.
Prior military service is not a requirement, but quite a few have served in the United States armed forces. Secretary Stone (1989-1993) is the only holder to serve in the military outside of the United States.
|No.||Image||Name||Term of Office||President(s) served under|
|1||Kenneth Claiborne Royall||September 18, 1947 - April 27, 1949||Harry S. Truman|
|2||Gordon Gray||April 28, 1949 - April 12, 1950|
|3||Frank Pace||April 12, 1950 - January 20, 1953|
|-||Earl D. Johnson
|January 20, 1953 - February 4, 1953||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|4||Robert T. Stevens||February 4, 1953 - July 21, 1955|
|5||Wilber M. Brucker||July 21, 1955 - January 19, 1961|
|6||Elvis Jacob Stahr Jr.||January 24, 1961 - June 30, 1962||John F. Kennedy|
|7||Cyrus Roberts Vance||July 5, 1962 - January 21, 1964||John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson|
|8||Stephen Ailes||January 28, 1964 - July 1, 1965||Lyndon B. Johnson|
|9||Stanley R. Resor||July 2, 1965 - June 30, 1971||Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon|
|10||Robert F. Froehlke||July 1, 1971 - May 14, 1973||Richard Nixon|
|11||Howard H. Callaway||May 15, 1973 - July 3, 1975||Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford|
|-||Norman R. Augustine
|July 3, 1975 - August 5, 1975||Gerald Ford|
|12||Martin R. Hoffmann||August 5, 1975 - January 20, 1977|
|13||Clifford Alexander Jr.||February 14, 1977 - January 20, 1981||Jimmy Carter|
|-||Percy A. Pierre
|January 21, 1981 - January 29, 1981|
|14||John O. Marsh Jr.||January 30, 1981 - August 14, 1989||Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush|
|15||Michael P. W. Stone||August 14, 1989 - January 20, 1993||George H. W. Bush|
|-||John W. Shannon
|January 20, 1993 - August 26, 1993||Bill Clinton|
|-||Gordon R. Sullivan
|August 28, 1993 - November 21, 1993|
|16||Togo D. West Jr.||November 22, 1993 - May 4, 1997|
|-||Robert M. Walker
|December 2, 1997 - July 1, 1998|
|17||Louis Caldera||July 2, 1998 - January 20, 2001|
|-||Gregory R. Dahlberg
|January 20, 2001 - March 4, 2001||George W. Bush|
|-||Joseph W. Westphal
|March 5, 2001 - May 31, 2001|
|18||Thomas E. White||May 31, 2001 - May 9, 2003|
|May 10, 2003 - November 18, 2004|
|19||Francis J. Harvey||November 19, 2004 - March 9, 2007|
|20||Pete Geren||March 9, 2007 - September 21, 2009||George W. Bush, Barack Obama|
|21||John M. McHugh||September 21, 2009 - November 1, 2015||Barack Obama|
|November 3, 2015 - January 11, 2016|
|January 11, 2016 - May 17, 2016|
|22||Eric Fanning||May 17, 2016 - January 20, 2017|
|January 20, 2017 - August 2, 2017||Donald Trump|
|August 2, 2017 - November 20, 2017|
|23||Mark Esper||November 20, 2017 - July 23, 2019|
|June 24, 2019 - July 15, 2019|
|24||Ryan McCarthy||July 23, 2019 - present|
Acting: July 23, 2019 - September 30, 2019
While Esper is serving as acting defense secretary, he will technically retain the title of secretary of the Army, one of the officials said.