Definitions for joint chiefs of staff
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Random House Webster's College Dictionary
Joint′ Chiefs′ of Staff′(n.pl.)
the chief military advisory body to the President of the U.S., consisting of the Chiefs of Staff of the Army and the Air Force, the commandant of the Marine Corps, the Chief of Naval Operations, and a chairperson drawn from one of the armed forces.
Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Chiefs(noun)
the executive agency that advises the President on military questions; composed of the chiefs of the United States Army and the United States Navy and the United States Air Force and the commandant of the United States Marine Corps
Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters. The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by statute and consists of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Military Service Chiefs from the Army, Navy, Air Force, the Marine Corps, and the National Guard, all appointed by the President following Senate confirmation. Each of the individual Military Service Chiefs, outside of their Joint Chiefs of Staff obligations, works directly for the Secretary of the Military Department concerned, i.e. Secretary of the Army, Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Air Force. Following the Goldwater-Nichols Act in 1986 the Joint Chiefs of Staff do not have operational command authority, neither individually nor collectively, as the chain of command goes from the President to the Secretary of Defense, and from the Secretary of Defense to the Commanders of the Combatant Commands. Goldwater-Nichols also created the office of Vice Chairman, and the Chairman is now designated as the principal military adviser to the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and to the President.
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