General Counsel of the Department of Defense

Summary

General Counsel of the Department of Defense
DOD Office of General Counsel seal.gif
Seal of the Office of General Counsel
Flag of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Defense.svg
Flag of the General Counsel[1]
Caroline Krass, DOD General Counsel.jpg
Incumbent
Caroline Krass

since August 2, 2021
Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary
StyleThe Honorable
Reports toSecretary of Defense
Deputy Secretary of Defense
SeatThe Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, United States
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 140
PrecursorAssistant Secretary of Defense for Legal and Legislative Affairs
Formation1953
First holderH. Struve Hensel
DeputyActing Principal Deputy General Counsel Paul S. Koffsky
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level IV[2]
Websiteogc.osd.mil

The General Counsel of the Department of Defense is the chief legal officer of the Department of Defense (DoD), advising both the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on all legal matters and services, and providing legal advice to Office of the Secretary of Defense organizations and, as appropriate, other DOD components.

The General Counsel develops the department's Legislative Program and coordinates DoD positions on legislation and Executive Orders; coordinates the appeals process for denied FOIA requests; oversees the performance and standards of DoD attorneys; establishes policy on general legal issues and determines the DoD position on specific legal problems; maintains repository for all international agreements coordinated, negotiated, or concluded by DoD personnel; and is "dual-hatted" as Director of the Defense Legal Services Agency.

This position was established by Reorganization Plan No. 6 of 1953 and by Defense Directive 5145.1, signed 24 August 1953. The position derived its responsibilities from one of the original three Special Assistants to the Secretary (established in 1947) and the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Legal and Legislative Affairs) (established in 1949).[3]

Office Holders

General Counsels of the Department of Defense[3]
Image Name Tenure SecDef(s) served under President(s) served under
Streuve Hensel (Assistant Secretary of the Navy).jpg H. Struve Hensel August 17, 1953 – March 4, 1954 Charles Erwin Wilson Dwight Eisenhower
Wilber Marion Brucker (cropped).jpg Wilber M. Brucker April 23, 1954 – July 20, 1955
Blank.svg Mansfield D. Sprague October 6, 1955 – February 27, 1957
Blank.svg Robert Dechert February 28, 1957 – July 15, 1959 Charles Erwin Wilson
Neil H. McElroy
Blank.svg J. Vincent Burke Jr. September 14, 1959 – January 20, 1961 Neil H. McElroy
Thomas S. Gates
CyrusVanceSoS.jpg Cyrus Vance January 29, 1961 – June 30, 1962 Robert S. McNamara John F. Kennedy
John T. McNaughton (cropped).jpg John McNaughton July 5, 1962 – June 25, 1964 John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Blank.svg Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) July 1, 1964 – September 19, 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson
Paul Warnke 1983 (cropped).jpg Paul Warnke October 3, 1966 – July 31, 1967
Blank.svg Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) August 1, 1967 – August 20, 1970 Robert S. McNamara
Clark Clifford
Melvin Laird
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Nixon Contact Sheet WHPO-E1677 (cropped).jpg J. Fred Buzhardt August 20, 1970 – January 4, 1974 Melvin Laird
Elliot Richardson
James R. Schlesinger
Richard Nixon
Blank.svg Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) May 22, 1973 – March 13, 1974 James R. Schlesinger
Martin Richard Hoffmann.jpg Martin Richard Hoffmann March 14, 1974 – August 5, 1975 Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Blank.svg Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) August 6, 1975 – January 1, 1976 James R. Schlesinger
Donald Rumsfeld
Gerald Ford
Blank.svg Richard A. Wiley January 2, 1976 – January 15, 1977 Donald Rumsfeld
Blank.svg Deanne C. Siemer April 28, 1977 – October 15, 1979 Harold Brown Jimmy Carter
Blank.svg Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) October 15, 1979 – February 1, 1980
TogoDWest.jpg Togo D. West Jr. February 1, 1980 – January 20, 1981
Blank.svg Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) January 20, 1981 – April 1, 1981 Caspar Weinberger Ronald Reagan
William Howard Taft IV, Deptuty Secretary of Defense, official portrait.JPEG William Howard Taft IV April 2, 1981 – May 2, 1984
Portrait of Chapman Beecher Cox.jpg Chapman B. Cox May 3, 1984 – December 16, 1985
Portrait of H. Lawrence Garrett III.jpg Henry L. Garrett III February 5, 1986 – August 6, 1987
Blank.svg Leonard Niederlehner (Acting) August 7, 1987 – October 25, 1987
Portrait of Kathleen A. Buck.jpg Kathleen A. Buck October 26, 1985 – December 30, 1989 Caspar Weinberger
Frank Carlucci
William Howard Taft IV
Dick Cheney
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Portrait of Terrence O'Donnell.jpg Terrence O'Donnell October 30, 1989 – March 6, 1992 Dick Cheney George H. W. Bush
Portrait of C. Paul Beach, Jr.jpg C. Paul Beach Jr. (Acting) March 7, 1992 – August 11, 1992
Portrait of David S. Addington, Special Assistant to Secretary of Defense.jpg David Addington August 12, 1992 – January 20, 1993
Blank.svg John H. McNeil (Acting) January 20, 1993 – May 5, 1993 Les Aspin Bill Clinton
GorelickJamie.jpg Jamie Gorelick May 5, 1993 – March 17, 1994 Lee Aspin
William Perry
Portrait of Stephen W. Preston.jpg Stephen W. Preston (Acting) March 28, 1994 – September 28, 1994 William Perry
Judith Miller DoD.jpg Judith A. Miller September 29, 1994 – November 7, 1999 William Perry
William Cohen
Portrait of Douglas A. Dworkin.jpg Douglas A. Dworkin November 7, 1999 – June 14, 2000 (Acting)
June 14, 2000 – January 19, 2001
William Cohen
Portrait of William J. Haynes II.jpg William J. Haynes II May 24, 2001 – February 26, 2008[4] Donald Rumsfeld
Robert Gates
George W. Bush
Jeh Johnson official portrait 2011.jpg Jeh Johnson February 10, 2009 – December 31, 2012 Robert Gates
Leon Panetta
Barack Obama
Robert S. Taylor DoD.jpg Robert S. Taylor (Acting)[5] January 1, 2013 – October 2013 Leon Panetta
Chuck Hagel
Stephen W. Preston official photo.jpg Stephen W. Preston October 2013–2016 Chuck Hagel
Ashton Carter
Jennifer M. O'Connor DoD.jpg Jennifer M. O'Connor 2016–2017 Ashton Carter
James Mattis
Donald Trump
William S. Castle official photo.jpg William S. Castle August 2017 – July 2018 James Mattis
Paul C. Ney Jr. official photo.jpg Paul C. Ney Jr. August 20, 2018 – January 20, 2021 James Mattis
Mark Esper
Christopher C. Miller (acting)
Beth George.jpg Beth George (Acting) January 20, 2021 – August 2, 2021 David Norquist (acting)
Lloyd Austin
Joe Biden
Caroline Krass, DOD General Counsel.jpg Caroline Krass August 2, 2021 – present Lloyd Austin

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil/UniformedServices/Flags/Pos_Colors_DoD.aspx Archived 2013-05-12 at the Wayback Machine . Accessed on 2013-07-04.
  2. ^ 5 U.S.C. § 5315
  3. ^ a b "Department of Defense Key Officials" (PDF). Historical Office, OSD. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
  4. ^ "Pentagon lawyer to leave administration: The Swamp". Swamppolitics.com. 2008-02-26. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  5. ^ "General Counsel Bio". Dod.gov. Retrieved 2013-07-04.

External links

  • Official website