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Chief of Staff of the United States Army

Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Flag of the Chief of Staff of the Army
General Raymond T. Odierno

since September 7, 2011
Department of the Army
The Army Staff
Member of Joint Chiefs of Staff
Reports to Secretary of Defense
Secretary of the Army
Seat The Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.
Appointer The President
Term length 4 years
Constituting instrument 10 U.S.C. § 3033
Precursor Commanding General of the Army
Formation August 15, 1903
First holder LTG Samuel B. M. Young
Deputy Vice Chief of Staff of the Army
Website Official Website

The Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA) is a statutory office (10 U.S.C. § 3033) held by a four-star general in the United States Army. As the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, the CSA is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army. In a separate capacity, the CSA is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (10 U.S.C. § 151) and, thereby, a military advisor to the National Security Council, the Secretary of Defense, and the President. The CSA is typically the highest-ranking officer on active-duty in the U.S. Army unless the Chairman and/or the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are Army officers.

The Chief of Staff of the Army is an administrative position based in the Pentagon. While the CSA does not have operational command authority over Army forces proper (which is within the purview of the Combatant Commanders who report to the Secretary of Defense), the CSA does exercise supervision of army units and organizations as the designee of the Secretary of the Army.

The current Chief of Staff of the Army is General Raymond T. Odierno.


  • Responsibilities 1
  • History 2
  • List of Chiefs of Staff of the Army (1903–present) 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7


The senior leadership of the Department of the Army consists of two civilians, the Secretary of the Army (Head of the department and subordinate to the Secretary of Defense) and the Under Secretary of the Army, and two military officers, the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army.

The Chief of Staff reports directly to the Secretary of the Army for army matters and assists in the Secretary's external affairs functions, including presenting and enforcing army policies, plans, and projections. The CSA also directs the Inspector General of the Army to perform inspections and investigations as required. In addition, the CSA presides over the G-1, Personnel. The CSA base pay is $19,326.60 per month.

The Chief of Staff of the Army is nominated by the President and must be confirmed by majority vote from the Senate.[3] By statute, the CSA is appointed as a four-star general.[3]

The Chief of Staff holds an annual future study program called Unified Quest.[4][5][6]


Prior to 1903, the senior military officer in the army was the Commanding General, who reported to the Secretary of War. From 1864 to 1865, Major General Henry Wager Halleck (who had previously been Commanding General) served as "Chief of Staff of the Army" under the Commanding General, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, thus serving in a different office and not as the senior officer in the army.

The first chief of staff moved his headquarters to Fort Myer in 1908.

List of Chiefs of Staff of the Army (1903–present)

# Name Photo Term began Term ended Notes
1. LTG Samuel B. M. Young August 15, 1903 January 8, 1904
2. LTG Adna Chaffee August 19, 1904 January 14, 1906
3. LTG John C. Bates January 15, 1906 April 13, 1906 Last Civil War veteran to serve as Chief of Staff
4. MG J. Franklin Bell April 14, 1906 April 21, 1910
5. MG Leonard Wood April 22, 1910 April 21, 1914
6. MG William W. Wotherspoon April 22, 1914 November 16, 1914
7. MG Hugh L. Scott November 17, 1914 September 22, 1917
8. GEN Tasker H. Bliss September 23, 1917 May 19, 1918
9. GEN Peyton C. March May 20, 1918 June 30, 1921
10. General of the Armies John J. Pershing July 1, 1921 September 13, 1924
11. MG John L. Hines September 14, 1924 November 20, 1926
12. GEN Charles Pelot Summerall November 21, 1926 November 20, 1930
13. GEN Douglas MacArthur November 21, 1930 October 1, 1935
14. GEN Malin Craig October 2, 1935 August 31, 1939
15. George C. Marshall September 1, 1939 November 18, 1945
16. GA Dwight D. Eisenhower November 19, 1945 February 6, 1948
17. GA Omar Bradley February 7, 1948 August 15, 1949
18. GEN J. Lawton Collins August 16, 1949 August 14, 1953
19. GEN Matthew B. Ridgway August 15, 1953 June 29, 1955 Last World War I veteran to serve as Chief of Staff
20. GEN Maxwell D. Taylor June 30, 1955 June 30, 1959
21. GEN Lyman L. Lemnitzer July 1, 1959 September 30, 1960
22. GEN George H. Decker October 1, 1960 September 30, 1962
23. GEN Earle G. Wheeler October 1, 1962 July 2, 1964
24. GEN Harold K. Johnson July 3, 1964 July 2, 1968
25. GEN William C. Westmoreland July 3, 1968 June 30, 1972
GEN Bruce Palmer, Jr. July 1, 1972 October 11, 1972 Acting
26. GEN Creighton W. Abrams October 12, 1972 September 4, 1974 Died in office
27. GEN Frederick C. Weyand October 3, 1974 September 30, 1976
28. GEN Bernard W. Rogers October 1, 1976 June 21, 1979 Last World War II veteran to serve as Chief of Staff.
29. GEN Edward C. Meyer June 22, 1979 June 21, 1983
30. GEN John A. Wickham, Jr. July 23, 1983 June 23, 1987 Last Korean War veteran to serve as Chief of Staff.
31. GEN Carl E. Vuono June 23, 1987 June 21, 1991
32. GEN Gordon R. Sullivan June 21, 1991 June 20, 1995
33. GEN Dennis J. Reimer June 20, 1995 June 21, 1999
34. GEN Eric K. Shinseki June 21, 1999 June 11, 2003 Last Vietnam War veteran to serve as Chief of Staff
35. GEN Peter J. Schoomaker August 1, 2003 April 10, 2007 Recalled from retirement to assume the position of Chief of Staff. He had first retired in 2000.
36. GEN George W. Casey, Jr. April 10, 2007 April 10, 2011
37. GEN Martin E. Dempsey April 11, 2011 September 7, 2011 Term shortened due to appointment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff[7]
38. GEN Raymond T. Odierno September 7, 2011 Incumbent

See also


  1. ^ "General George Casey - Chief of Staff Army". Archived from the original on September 11, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2007. 
  2. ^, 10 USC 165. Combatant commands: administration and support
  3. ^ a b, 10 USC 3033. Chief of Staff
  4. ^ "Unified Quest (UQ)."
  5. ^ "Unified Quest 2012."
  6. ^ "Unified Quest 2011 Combined Arms Maneuver and Wide Area Security Tabletop Wargame."
  7. ^ Historical Resources Branch, United States Army Center of Military History
  • Bell, William Gardner (2005) [1983]. "Appendix B: Chronological List of Senior Officers of the United States Army". Commanding Generals and Chiefs of Staff 1775-2005: Portraits & Biographical Sketches of the United States Army's Senior Officer.  

Further reading

  • Bell, William Gardner (2005). Commanding Generals and Chiefs of Staff 1775-2005:Portraits & Biographical Sketches of the United States Army's Senior Officer. Washington, D.C.:  
  • Watson, Mark Skinner. Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations. United States Army in World War II. Washington D.C.:   - full text

External links

  • The short film Big Picture: Top Soldier is available for free download at the Internet Archive []
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