can the president's secretary of defense be considered a military commander?

i was just wondering if the president's secretary of defense is also considered a military commander. are there any other positions that are considered a military commander? thanks

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Secretary of Defense is a civilian, and the only civilian considered to be in the chain of command is the President.

    "The Secretary of Defense is the principal defense policy adviser to the President and is responsible for the formulation of general defense policy and policy related to all matters of direct concern to the Department of Defense, and for the execution of approved policy. Under the direction of the President, the Secretary exercises authority, direction and control over the Department of Defense. The Secretary of Defense is a member of the President's Cabinet and of the National Security Council."

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No. But this only applies to democratic governments. The Secretary of Defense, by definition, is the civilian authority that directs, oversees, supervises, and manages the combined military forces of a nation.

    Although it is customary for former or retired officers to be appointed to the position (i.e. Caspar Weinberger), they must no longer be in the service at the time of their appointment. We must emphasize that the office of Secretary of Defense underscores civilian control over the military.

    Significant military experience is not even often a major qualification in being appointed to the position. Managerial ability and leadership qualities, not to mention political savvy, often plays a much more major role. A good example is McNamara who was appointed to the post despite the fact that he had no significant military experience. However, he was an auto industry executive and applied the lessons he learned in business to running the military.

  • 1 decade ago

    Such positions such as Secretary of Defense and US President are civilians, but they are both part of the chain of command and hold authority over even the highest generals in the military.

    I was in the military for eight years. We were expected to know our chain of command, and the Sec. of Defense and President were part of it.

  • Pfo
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    No, they are not soldiers, they don't need military training, and they don't progress through the ranks like others in the military. All you have to do to be secretary of defense is be on the president's good side.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No. The SecDef is not a uniformed officer -- he is specifically a civilian by the Constitution of the United States.

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