United States. Department of Defense

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Proposals to coordinate the activities of the military services were initially considered by U.S. Congress in 1944. Specific plans were put forth in 1945 by the Army, the Navy, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff . In a special message to U.S. Congress on December 19, 1945, President Harry Truman proposed creation of a unified Department of National Defense. A proposal reached Congress in April 1946, but was held up by the Naval Affairs Committee held hearings in July 1946 due to objections to the concentration of power in a single department. Truman eventually sent new legislation to Congress in February 1947, where it was debated and amended for several months. On July 26, 1947, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which set up the National Military Establishment to begin operations on September 18, 1947, the day after the confirmation of James V. Forrestal as the first Secretary of Defense. The Establishment had the unfortunate abbreviation 'NME' (the obvious pronunciation being "enemy"), and was renamed the "Department of Defense" on August 10, 1949; in addition, the secretary was given greater authority over the military departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The Department was created by combining the War Department (founded in 1789) with the Navy Department (founded in 1798; formerly the Board of Admiralty, founded in 1780), and the newly created Department of the Air Force. The Department was formed in order to reduce interservice rivalry which was believed to have reduced military effectiveness during World War. The command structure of the Department of Defense has undergone several revisions, most recently defined by the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986. Under the act, the chain of command runs from the President of the United States, through the Secretary of Defense, to the unified combatant commanders. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the several Chiefs of Staff are responsible for the readiness of the U.S. military and serve as the President's military advisers, but are not in the chain of command. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking military officer in the United States.
Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Bernard A. Schriever Papers, 1931-2005, (bulk 1954-2000) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Jeanne S. Mintz Papers, 1928-1993, (bulk 1943-1965) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Sanford, Terry, 1917-1998. Terry Sanford Papers, 1926-1996 (bulk 1986-1992) David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Presidential Papers, American Unitarian Association, 1936-1958. Andover-Harvard Theological Library
referencedIn George Adams Shuford Papers, 1952-1959 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Donald Rumsfeld Papers, 1888-2008, (bulk 1963-2007) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Santa Fe Railroad Collection RG D 004., 1897-1968 Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library,
referencedIn Guide to the Tamiment Library Newspapers, 1873-2014 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Jack S. Kilby Papers, 1878-2003, (bulk 1970-1998) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Leach, Walter Barton. W. Barton Leach Papers. 1920-1971. Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Caspar W. Weinberger Papers, 1910-2005, (bulk 1951-2005) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn David Newton Henderson Papers, 1930-1976 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Prescott S. Bush Papers., undated, 1952-1962. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
referencedIn Noel Francis Parrish Papers, 1894-1987, (bulk 1930-1987) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Paul H. Nitze Papers, 1922-1998, (bulk 1946-1996) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn William Howard Taft IV Papers, 1958-1989, (bulk 1970-1989) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Unitarian Service Committee. Administrative Records, 1948-1953 Andover-Harvard Theological Library
referencedIn John Gay Collection, 1916-2002 Liberian Collectionshttp://www.onliberia.org
referencedIn Robert N. Giaimo Papers., undated, 1956-1981. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Center.
referencedIn Oral history interview with Daniel M. Luevano, 1988. Transcript. By Carlos Vasquez UCLA. Library. Center for Oral History Research
referencedIn Edward Lindley Bowles Papers, 1869-1990, (bulk 1920-1982) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Clark M. Clifford Papers, 1883-1999, (bulk 1946-1998) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Herbert Covington Bonner Papers (#3710), 1940-1965 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn Ferry, Elinor. Papers, 1944-1988 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Fort Devens Film Collection, ca. 1940-1971 : Guide. Harvard Film Archive, Fine Arts Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Neil Sheehan Papers, 1920-1993, (bulk 1960-1993) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Bates Worldwide, Inc. Records, 1934-2003 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn David S. C. Chu Papers, 1969-1993, (bulk 1981-1992) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Wernher Von Braun Papers, 1796-1970, (bulk 1950-1970) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Edward J. Thye papers., 1938-1959. Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Benjamin Everett Jordan Papers, 1896-1974 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Paterson, Thomas G., 1941-. Papers, 1836-2002. Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
referencedIn Anthony Lake Papers, 1916-2003, (bulk 1963-1997) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Records, 1975-1991 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Milton Caniff Collection, 1805-2007, 1910-1988 The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
referencedIn Graham Arthur Barden Papers, 1934-1960 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Barden, Graham Arthur, 1896-1967 person
associatedWith Bates Worldwide, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Bonner, Herbert Covington, 1891-1965 person
associatedWith Bowles, Edward Lindley, 1897-1990 person
associatedWith Bush, Prescott Sheldon. person
associatedWith Chu, David S. C. person
associatedWith Clifford, Clark M., 1906-1998 person
associatedWith Eliot, Frederick May, 1889-1958 person
associatedWith Ferry, Elinor person
associatedWith Gay, John person
associatedWith Giaimo, Robert N. person
associatedWith Henderson, David Newton, 1921- person
associatedWith Jordan, Benjamin Everett person
associatedWith Kilby, Jack S., 1923- person
associatedWith Lake, Anthony. person
associatedWith Leach, W. Barton (Walter Barton), 1900- person
associatedWith Luevano, Daniel M., 1923-. person
associatedWith Milton Caniff person
associatedWith Milton Caniff person
associatedWith Mintz, Jeanne S. person
associatedWith Nitze, Paul H. person
associatedWith Parrish, Noel Francis. person
associatedWith Paterson, Thomas G. person
associatedWith Rumsfeld, Donald, 1932- person
correspondedWith Sanford, Terry, 1917-1998 person
associatedWith Santa Fe Railroad corporateBody
associatedWith Schriever, Bernard A. person
associatedWith Sheehan, Neil. person
associatedWith Shuford, George Adams person
associatedWith Taft, William Howard, 1915 August 7- person
associatedWith Tamiment Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Thye, Edward John, 1896- person
associatedWith Transition House corporateBody
associatedWith Unitarian Service Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Von Braun, Wernher, 1912-1977 person
associatedWith Weinberger, Caspar W. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Arlington County VA US
Subject
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Establishment 1947-09-18

Americans

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