United States Secretary of the Navy

Secretary of the Navy
Seal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg
Seal of the Department of the Navy
Flag of the United States Secretary of the Navy.svg
Flag of the Secretary of the Navy
Richard V. Spencer.jpg
Incumbent
Richard V. Spencer

since August 3, 2017
Department of the Navy
StyleMister Secretary
The Honorable
(formal address in writing)
Reports toSecretary of Defense
Deputy Secretary of Defense
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Inaugural holderBenjamin Stoddert
FormationJune 18, 1798
Succession3rd in SecDef succession
DeputyThe Under Secretary
(Principal Civilian Deputy)
Chief of Naval Operations
(Navy Advisor and Deputy)
The Commandant
(Marine Corps Advisor and Deputy)
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level II
WebsiteOfficial Website

The Secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer (§ 5013) and the head (chief executive officer) of the Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the Department of Defense of the United States of America.

The Secretary of the Navy must be a civilian by law, at least 5 years removed from active military service. The Secretary is appointed by the President and requires confirmation by a majority vote of the Senate.

The Secretary of the Navy was, from its creation in 1798, a member of the President's Cabinet until 1949, when the Secretary of the Navy (and the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force) was by amendments to the National Security Act of 1947 made subordinate to the Secretary of Defense.[1]

Responsibilities

The Department of the Navy (DoN) consists of two Uniformed Services: the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps.[2] The Secretary of the Navy is responsible for, and has statutory authority (§ 5013) to "conduct all the affairs of the Department of the Navy", i.e. as its chief executive officer, subject to the limits of the law, and the directions of the President and the Secretary of Defense. In effect, all authority within the Navy and Marine Corps, unless specifically exempted by law, is derivative of the authority vested in the Secretary of the Navy.

Specifically enumerated responsibilities of the SECNAV in the before-mentioned section are: recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping, training, mobilizing, and demobilizing. The Secretary also oversees the construction, outfitting, and repair of naval ships, equipment, and facilities. SECNAV is responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies and programs that are consistent with the national security policies and objectives established by the President or the Secretary of Defense.[3][4]

The Secretary of the Navy is a member of the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB), chaired by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Furthermore, the Secretary has several statutory responsibilities under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) with respect to the administration of the military justice system for the Navy & the Marine Corps, including the authority to convene general courts-martial and to commute sentences.

The principal military advisers to the SECNAV are the two service chiefs of the naval services: for matters regarding the Navy the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), and for matters regarding the Marine Corps the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC). The CNO and the Commandant act as the principal executive agents of the SECNAV within their respective services to implement the orders of the Secretary.

Navy Regulations

The United States Navy Regulations is the principal regulatory document of the Department of the Navy, and any changes to it can only be approved by the Secretary of the Navy.

U.S. Coast Guard

Whenever the United States Coast Guard operates as a service within the Department of the Navy, the Secretary of the Navy has the same powers and duties with respect to the Coast Guard as the Secretary of Homeland Security when the Coast Guard is not operating as a service in the Navy.[5]

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