Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Overview
 
The Chief of Staff of the Army (acronym: CSA) is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army
United States Department of the Army
The Department of the Army is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Department of the Army is the Federal Government agency which the United States Army is organized within, and it is led by the Secretary of the Army who has...

, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army
United States Secretary of the Army
The Secretary of the Army is a civilian official within the Department of Defense of the United States of America with statutory responsibility for all matters relating to the United States Army: manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and...

; and is in a separate capacity a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
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...

 , and thereby a military advisor to the National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

, the Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

, and the President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

. The Chief of Staff is typically the highest ranking officer on active-duty in the U.S.
Encyclopedia
The Chief of Staff of the Army (acronym: CSA) is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army
United States Department of the Army
The Department of the Army is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Department of the Army is the Federal Government agency which the United States Army is organized within, and it is led by the Secretary of the Army who has...

, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army
United States Secretary of the Army
The Secretary of the Army is a civilian official within the Department of Defense of the United States of America with statutory responsibility for all matters relating to the United States Army: manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and...

; and is in a separate capacity a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
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...

 , and thereby a military advisor to the National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

, the Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

, and the President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

. The Chief of Staff is typically the highest ranking officer on active-duty in the U.S. Army unless the Chairman
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense...

 and/or the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the second highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces ranking just below the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff...

 are Army officers.

The Chief of Staff of the Army is an administrative position based in the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

, and while the Chief of Staff do not have operational command authority over Army forces proper (that is within the purview of the Combatant Commanders
Unified Combatant Command
A Unified Combatant Command is a United States Department of Defense command that is composed of forces from at least two Military Departments and has a broad and continuing mission. These commands are established to provide effective command and control of U.S. military forces, regardless of...

 who reports to the Secretary of Defense), the Chief of Staff does exercise supervision of Army units and organizations as the designee of the Secretary of the Army.

The current Chief of Staff of the Army is General Raymond T. Odierno
Raymond T. Odierno
Raymond T. Odierno is a United States Army general and the 38th and current Chief of Staff of the Army. Odierno most recently commanded United States Joint Forces Command from October 2010 until its disestablishment in August 2011. He served as Commanding General, United States Forces – Iraq and...

.

Responsibilities

The Senior Leadership of the Department of the Army consists of two civilians, the Secretary of the Army
United States Secretary of the Army
The Secretary of the Army is a civilian official within the Department of Defense of the United States of America with statutory responsibility for all matters relating to the United States Army: manpower, personnel, reserve affairs, installations, environmental issues, weapons systems and...

 (Head of the department and subordinate to the Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

) and the Under Secretary of the Army
United States Under Secretary of the Army
The United States Under Secretary of the Army is the second-highest ranking civilian official of the United States Department of the Army, serving directly under the United States Secretary of the Army...

, and two military officers, the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army
Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army is the principal advisor and assistant to the Army Chief of Staff, the second-highest ranking officer in the US Army. He handles the day to day administration of the Army bureaucracy, freeing the Chief of Staff to attend to the interservice...

.

The Chief of Staff reports directly to the Secretary of the Army for army matters and assists in the Secretary's external affairs functions including: presenting and enforcing Army policies, plans, and projections. The Chief of Staff also directs the Inspector General of the Army to perform inspections and investigations as required. The Chief of Staff also presides over the Army Staff and represents Army capabilities, requirements, policy, plans, and programs in Joint fora. Under delegation of authority made by the Secretary of the Army, the Chief of Staff also designates army personnel and army resources to the Commanders of the Combatant Commands
Unified Combatant Command
A Unified Combatant Command is a United States Department of Defense command that is composed of forces from at least two Military Departments and has a broad and continuing mission. These commands are established to provide effective command and control of U.S. military forces, regardless of...

. He also performs all other functions enumerated in under the authority, direction and control of the Secretary of the Army, or delegates those duties and responsibilities to other officers in his administration in his name. Like the other service counterparts, the Chief of Staff has no operational command authority over Army forces, dating back to the passage of the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1958. The Chief of Staff is served by a number of Deputy Chiefs of Staff of the Army, such as G-1, Personnel
Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel
The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Department of the Army, United States Army, also known as the G-1 is responsible for developing, management and execution of all manpower and personnel plans, programs and policies throughout the entire U.S. Army...

. The Chief of Staff of the Army base pay is $19,326.60 per month.

Appointment

The Chief of Staff is nominated by the President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 and must be confirmed by majority vote from the Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

. By statute, the CSA is appointed as a four-star general
General (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, general is a four-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. General ranks above lieutenant general and below General of the Army or General of the Air Force; the Marine Corps does not have an...

.

History

Prior to 1903, the senior military officer in the Army was the Commanding General
Commanding General of the United States Army
Prior to the institution of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army in 1903, there was generally a single senior-most officer in the army. From 1783, he was known simply as the Senior Officer of the United States Army, but in 1821, the title was changed to Commanding General of the United...

, who reported to the Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

. From 1864 to 1865, Major General Henry Wager Halleck
Henry Wager Halleck
Henry Wager Halleck was a United States Army officer, scholar, and lawyer. A noted expert in military studies, he was known by a nickname that became derogatory, "Old Brains." He was an important participant in the admission of California as a state and became a successful lawyer and land developer...

 (who had previously been Commanding General) served as "Chief of Staff of the Army" under the Commanding General, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

, thus serving in a different office and not as the senior officer in the Army.

The first Chief of Staff moved his headquarters to Fort Myer
Fort Myer
Fort Myer is a U.S. Army post adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. It is a small post by U.S...

 in 1908.

List of Chiefs of Staff of the Army (1903-Present)

# Name Photo Term began Term ended Notes
1. LTG Samuel B. M. Young
Samuel Baldwin Marks Young
Samuel Baldwin Marks Young was a United States Army general. He also served as the first president of Army War College between 1902 and 1903. He then served from 1903 until 1904 as the first Chief of Staff of the United States Army.-Biography:Young was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to John...

 
August 15, 1903 January 8, 1904
2. LTG Adna Chaffee
Adna Chaffee
Adna Romanza Chaffee was a General in the United States Army. Chaffee took part in the American Civil War and Indian Wars, played a key role in the Spanish-American War, and was instrumental in crushing the Boxer Rebellion in China...

 
August 19, 1904 January 14, 1906
3. LTG John C. Bates
John C. Bates
John Coalter Bates was Chief of Staff of the United States Army from January to April 1906. He was the last American Civil War veteran still on active duty in the United States military at the time of his retirement....

 
January 15, 1906 April 13, 1906
4. MG J. Franklin Bell
J. Franklin Bell
James Franklin Bell was Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1906 to 1910.Bell was a major-general in the Regular United States Army, commanding the Department of the East, with headquarters at Governors Island, New York at the time of his death in 1919...

 
April 14, 1906 April 21, 1910
5. MG Leonard Wood
Leonard Wood
Leonard Wood was a physician who served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Military Governor of Cuba and Governor General of the Philippines. Early in his military career, he received the Medal of Honor. Wood also holds officer service #2 in the Regular Army...

 
April 22, 1910 April 21, 1914
6. MG William W. Wotherspoon
William Wallace Wotherspoon
William Wallace Wotherspoon was a United States Army general who served as Army Chief of Staff in 1914.-Biography:William Wotherspoon was born in Washington, D.C., on November 16, 1850...

 
April 22, 1914 November 16, 1914
7. MG Hugh L. Scott
Hugh L. Scott
Hugh Lenox Scott was a post-Civil War West Point graduate who served as superintendent of West Point from 1906 to 1910, and Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1914 to 1917, including the first few months of American involvement in World War I.-Biography:Born September 22, 1853 in...

 
November 17, 1914 September 22, 1917
8. GEN Tasker H. Bliss
Tasker H. Bliss
Tasker Howard Bliss GCMG was Chief of Staff of the United States Army from September 22, 1917 until May 18, 1918.-Biography:...

 
September 23, 1917 May 19, 1918
9. GEN Peyton C. March
Peyton C. March
Peyton Conway March was an American soldier and Army Chief of Staff.March was the son of Francis Andrew March, considered the principal founder of modern comparative linguistics in Anglo-Saxon and one of the first professors to advocate and teach English in colleges and universities...

 
May 20, 1918 June 30, 1921
10. General of the Armies
General of the Armies
General of the Armies of the United States, or more commonly referred to as General of the Armies, is the highest possible officer rank of the United States Army.Only two soldiers have been granted the rank of General of the Armies; John J...

 John J. Pershing
John J. Pershing
John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, GCB , was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I...

 
July 1, 1921 September 13, 1924
11. MG John L. Hines
John L. Hines
John Leonard Hines was an American soldier who served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 1924 to 1926.-Biography:...

 
September 14, 1924 November 20, 1926
12. GEN Charles Pelot Summerall
Charles Pelot Summerall
Charles Pelot Summerall was a U.S. general. He fought in World War I, and was Army Chief of Staff between 1926 and 1930. He was also the President of The Citadel between 1931 and 1953.-Early life and career:...

 
November 21, 1926 November 20, 1930
13. GEN Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 
November 21, 1930 October 1, 1935
14. GEN Malin Craig
Malin Craig
Malin Craig was a United States Army general.-Biography:Malin Craig was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, on August 5, 1875; Graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1898; was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to the 4th Infantry, April 1898;-Spanish American War:Served with the...

 
October 2, 1935 August 31, 1939
15. GA
General of the Army (United States)
General of the Army is a five-star general officer and is the second highest possible rank in the United States Army. A special rank of General of the Armies, which ranks above General of the Army, does exist but has only been conferred twice in the history of the Army...

 George C. Marshall 
September 1, 1939 November 18, 1945
16. GA
General of the Army (United States)
General of the Army is a five-star general officer and is the second highest possible rank in the United States Army. A special rank of General of the Armies, which ranks above General of the Army, does exist but has only been conferred twice in the history of the Army...

 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 
November 19, 1945 February 6, 1948
17. GEN Omar Bradley
Omar Bradley
Omar Nelson Bradley was a senior U.S. Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II, and a General of the Army in the United States Army...

 
February 7, 1948 August 15, 1949
18. GEN J. Lawton Collins
J. Lawton Collins
Joseph "Lightning Joe" Lawton Collins was a General in the United States Army. During World War II, he served in both the Pacific and European Theaters of Operations. His elder brother, James Lawton Collins, was also in the army as a Major General...

 
August 16, 1949 August 14, 1953
19. GEN Matthew B. Ridgway
Matthew Ridgway
Matthew Bunker Ridgway was a United States Army General. He held several major commands and was most famous for resurrecting the United Nations war effort during the Korean War. Several historians have credited Ridgway for turning around the war in favor of the UN side...

 
August 15, 1953 June 29, 1955
20. GEN Maxwell D. Taylor
Maxwell D. Taylor
General Maxwell Davenport "Max" Taylor was an United States Army four star general and diplomat of the mid-20th century, who served as the fifth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after having been appointed by the President of the United States John F...

 
June 30, 1955 June 30, 1959
21. GEN Lyman L. Lemnitzer
Lyman Lemnitzer
Lyman Louis Lemnitzer was a United States Army General, who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1960 to 1962. He then served as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO from 1963 to 1969.-Biography:...

 
July 1, 1959 September 30, 1960
22. GEN George H. Decker
George Decker
General George Henry Decker was Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1960 to 1962. General Decker was born in Catskill, New York and attended Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, receiving an economics degree in 1924. He served in the U.S. Army from 1924 to 1962. He married the...

 
October 1, 1960 September 30, 1962
23. GEN Earle G. Wheeler
Earle Wheeler
Earle Gilmore "Bus" Wheeler, was a United States Army General who served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army and then as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , holding the latter position during the Vietnam War.-Biography:Earle Gilmore Wheeler was born on January 13, 1908 in Washington,...

 
October 1, 1962 July 2, 1964
24. GEN Harold K. Johnson
Harold Keith Johnson
Harold Keith "Johnny" Johnson was a United States General. He served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1964 to 1968.-Early career and WWII:...

 
July 3, 1964 July 2, 1968
25. GEN William C. Westmoreland
William Westmoreland
William Childs Westmoreland was a United States Army General, who commanded US military operations in the Vietnam War at its peak , during the Tet Offensive. He adopted a strategy of attrition against the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam and the North Vietnamese Army. He later served as...

 
July 3, 1968 June 30, 1972
GEN Bruce Palmer, Jr.
Bruce Palmer, Jr.
Bruce Palmer, Jr., was a noted United States Army General and acting Chief of Staff of the United States Army from July to October 1972.-Career Summary:Palmer was born in Austin, Texas...

 
July 1, 1972 October 11, 1972 Acting
26. GEN Creighton W. Abrams
Creighton Abrams
Creighton Williams Abrams Jr. was a general in the United States Army who commanded military operations in the Vietnam War from 1968–72 which saw U.S. troop strength in Vietnam fall from a peak of 543,000 to 49,000. He served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1972 until shortly...

 
October 12, 1972 September 4, 1974 Died in office
27. GEN Frederick C. Weyand
Frederick C. Weyand
Frederick Carlton Weyand was a U.S. Army General. Weyand was the last commander of US military operations in the Vietnam War from 1972–1973, and served as the 28th US Army Chief of Staff from 1974-1976.-Early career:...

 
October 3, 1974 September 30, 1976
28. GEN Bernard W. Rogers
Bernard W. Rogers
Bernard William Rogers was an American general who served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army, and later as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and Commander in Chief, United States European Command....

 
October 1, 1976 June 21, 1979
29. GEN Edward C. Meyer
Edward C. Meyer
Edward Charles "Shy" Meyer was a United States Army general and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.-Early Life and Career:...

 
June 22, 1979 June 21, 1983
30. GEN John A. Wickham, Jr.
John A. Wickham, Jr.
General John Adams Wickham was United States Army Chief of Staff from 1983 to 1987.He graduated in 1950 from the United States Military Academy...

 
July 23, 1983 June 23, 1987
31. GEN Carl E. Vuono
Carl E. Vuono
Carl Edward Vuono is a retired United States Army General who served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 1987 to 1991.-Early life and career:...

 
June 23, 1987 June 21, 1991
32. GEN Gordon R. Sullivan
Gordon R. Sullivan
General Gordon Russell Sullivan is a retired Army general officer, who served as the 32nd Chief of Staff of the United States Army and as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.-Background and education:...

 
June 21, 1991 June 20, 1995
33. GEN Dennis J. Reimer
Dennis Reimer
Dennis Joe Reimer is a former Chief of Staff of the United States Army from June 20, 1995 to June 21, 1999.Reimer grew up in Medford, Oklahoma. He graduated from the United States Military Academy and commissioned a second lieutenant in June 1962. After commissioning, he attended the field...

 
June 20, 1995 June 21, 1999
34. GEN Eric K. Shinseki
Eric Shinseki
Eric Ken Shinseki is a retired United States Army four-star general who is currently serving as the 7th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. His final U.S. Army post was as the 34th Chief of Staff of the Army...

 
June 21, 1999 June 11, 2003
35. GEN Peter J. Schoomaker
Peter Schoomaker
Peter Jan Schoomaker is a retired four-star general of the United States Army and served as the 35th Chief of Staff of the United States Army from August 1, 2003 to April 10, 2007. Schoomaker's appointment as Chief of Staff was unique in that he was recalled and came out from retirement to assume...

 
August 1, 2003 April 10, 2007
36. GEN George W. Casey, Jr.  April 10, 2007 April 10, 2011
37. GEN Martin E. Dempsey
Martin Dempsey
General Martin E. Dempsey, USA is the 18th and current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He previously served 149 days as the 37th Chief of Staff of the Army from April 11, 2011 to September 7, 2011. Prior to that, he served as Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command from...

 
April 11, 2011 September 7, 2011 Term shortened due to appointment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces, and is the principal military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense...

38. GEN Raymond T. Odierno September 7, 2011 Present

Further reading

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