The secretary of defense is the highest ranking leader in the department and serves as the principal advisor to the president, the commander in chief of the armed forces, on defense policy. The deputy secretary of defense is the second-highest ranking DOD leader.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military advisor to the president and the secretary of defense. The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the next highest ranking military leader.
Top civilian defense decision-makers work with the secretary to develop policy, operational and fiscal plans, manage resources and evaluate programs.
Professional information about senior Defense Department officials.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management and program evaluation.
The men and women serving in our armed forces have helped forge a sense of identity and unity among Americans, particularly during times of strife.
The Department of Defense provides the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security.