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Top Civilian and Military Leaders

Secretary of Defense

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Ash Carter

The Secretary of Defense is the principal defense policy adviser to the President and is responsible for the formulation of general defense policy and policy related to all matters of direct concern to the Department of Defense, and for the execution of approved policy. Under the direction of the President, the Secretary exercises authority, direction and control over the Department of Defense. The Secretary of Defense is a member of the President's Cabinet and of the National Security Council. Biography

Deputy Secretary of Defense

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Robert O. Work

The Deputy Secretary of Defense is delegated full power and authority to act for the Secretary of Defense and exercise the powers of the Secretary on any and all matters for which the Secretary is authorized to act pursuant to law. Biography

Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Photo of General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.

General Joseph F. Dunford Jr.

Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. is the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, and the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council. Biography

Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Photo of General Paul J. Selva

General Paul J. Selva

Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

General Paul J. Selva, serves as the tenth Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Nation’s second highest-ranking military officer. Biography