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Unified Commands
JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF (JCS) Before we describe the functions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), let’s review a little history. The  Joint  Chiefs  of  Staff  resulted  from  the establishment   of   a   supreme   British-American military body for the strategic direction of World War  II.  This  British-American  body  of  military officers  was  known  as  the  Combined  Chiefs  of Staff. Our  own  JCS  took  form  from  the  British Chiefs of Staff, who were colleagues and counter- parts  of  U.S.  representatives.  The  JCS  soon  began to  function  as  the  corporate  leadership  for  the United States military structure. At the national level,  the  JCS  absorbed  and  extended  the functions  of  the  Joint  Army  and  Navy  Board. This joint board handled interservice cooperation and  joint  war  planning  in  the  prewar  period. During  World  War  II  the  JCS  existed  to  assist the  President  in  the  exercise  of  his  powers  as Commander  in  Chief.  The  organization  that developed to support the JCS during World War II included a few standing committees composed of  full-time  working  members.  However,  the majority of committees were manned by officers who  served  in  this  JCS  function  as  part-time members.  This  function  was  an  extension  of their  primary  assignments  in  the  War  or  Navy Departments. With   few   modifications,   the   wartime   JCS organization continued to operate in the postwar period  until  the  effective  date  of  the  National Security  Act  of  1947.  This  act  established  the  JCS as  a  permanent  agency  within  the  National Military  Establishment.  It  appointed  the  members as "the principal military advisers to the President and  Secretary  of  Defense." COMPOSITION The JCS consists of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Chief of Staff, United States Army;  the  Chief  of  Naval  Operations;  the  Chief of   Staff,   United   States   Air   Force;   and   the Commandant  of  the  Marine  Corps. The President appoints the Chairman, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Chairman serves at the pleasure of the President for a 2-year term   and   may   be   reappointed   in   the   same manner  for  an  additional  2-year  term.  During time  of  war,  the  number  of  reappointments  is unlimited. While holding office, the Chairman of the JCS outranks all other officers of the armed forces. However, the Chairman may not exercise military  command  over  the  JCS  or  any  of  the armed  forces. One additional member, the Vice Chairman, is appointed in the same manner as the Chairman. The  Vice  Chairman  participates  in  all  meetings of  the  JCS  but  may  vote  only  when  acting  as Chairman. FUNCTION The members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are the principal military advisers to the President, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of   Defense.   Subject   to   the   authority   and direction of the President and SECDEF, the duties Preparing  strategic  plans  and  providing strategic  direction  of  the  armed  forces Preparing joint logistic plans and assigning logistic  responsibilities  to  the  armed  forces Establishing  unified  commands Reviewing  major  material  and  personnel requirements  of  the  armed  forces Formulating  policies  for  joint  training  of the  armed  forces Formulating   policies   for   coordinating military  education  of  members  of  the armed  forces Providing  representation  of  the  United States on the Military Staff Committee of the  United  Nations Performing other duties as the President or  SECDEF  prescribes UNIFIED  COMMANDS  AND SPECIFIED  COMMANDS The  United  States’  concept  of  the  Military Establishment  is  that  it  is  an  efficient  team  of land, naval, and air forces. This concept is based on  the  principle  of  effective  use  of  military  power. This  principle  requires  close  integration  of  the efforts of the separate military services. Unity of effort  among  the  services  at  the  national  level results from a joint effort. The Secretaries of the Army,  Navy,  and  Air  Force;  the  JCS;  and  the 11-6 of the JCS include the following:

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