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General Counsel of the Navy

General Counsel of the Department of the Navy
Flag of the General Counsel and the Assistant Secretaries of the Navy
Seal of the Office of the General Counsel
Paul L. Oostburg Sanz

since March 12, 2010[1]
Department of the Navy
Office of the Secretary
Style The Honorable
Reports to Secretary of the Navy
Under Secretary of the Navy
Seat The Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Appointer The President
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument 10 U.S.C. § 5019
Precursor Solicitor General of the Navy
Formation 1941
First holder H. Struve Hensel
Deputy Deputy General Counsel
Salary Executive Schedule, level IV[2]

The General Counsel of the Department of the Navy is the senior civilian lawyer in the U.S. Department of the Navy and is the senior legal adviser to the Secretary of the Navy. The Office of the General Counsel of the Navy provides legal advice to the Secretary, the Under Secretary of the Navy and the various Assistant Secretaries of the Navy and their staffs. The General Counsel of the Navy is the third highest-ranking civilian office in the Department of the Navy, behind the Secretary and Under Secretary of the Navy.

The General Counsel maintains a close working relationship with the Judge Advocate General of the Navy, the senior uniformed lawyer in the Department of the Navy who performs statutory duties under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The General Counsel manages nearly 650 attorneys worldwide, helps to oversee the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and advises senior Navy and Marine Corps officials on litigation, acquisition, contractual, fiscal, environmental, property, personnel, legislative, ethics, and intelligence law issues.


  • General Counsels of the Navy, 1941—Present 1
  • References 2
  • See also 3
  • External links 4

General Counsels of the Navy, 1941—Present

The first General Counsel of the Navy was appointed in 1941. From 1862 to 1941, essentially the same function was provided by the Solicitor General of the Navy.[3]

Name Assumed Office Left Office President Appointed By Secretary Served Under
H. Struve Hensel July 10, 1941 January 30, 1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt Frank Knox, James Forrestal
W. John Kenney February 5, 1945 April 2, 1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt James Forrestal
Patrick H. Hodgson April 3, 1945 October 31, 1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt James Forrestal
J. Henry Neale November 1, 1945 July 26, 1946 Harry S. Truman James Forrestal
William Wemple July 27, 1946 August 23, 1946 Harry S. Truman James Forrestal
James T. Hill, Jr. August 24, 1946 May 15, 1947 Harry S. Truman James Forrestal
Hudson B. Cox May 16, 1947 April 29, 1949 Harry S. Truman James Forrestal, John L. Sullivan
Harold B. Gross April 30, 1949 August 30, 1953 Harry S. Truman Francis P. Matthews, Dan A. Kimball, Robert B. Anderson
F. Trowbridge vom Baur December 15, 1953 April 30, 1960 Dwight D. Eisenhower Robert B. Anderson, Charles Thomas, Thomas S. Gates, Jr., William B. Franke
Meritt H. Steger May 2, 1960 May 31, 1971 Dwight D. Eisenhower William B. Franke, John Connally, Fred Korth, Paul Nitze, Paul Robert Ignatius, John Chafee
Hart T. Mankin June 7, 1971 July 21, 1973 Richard Nixon John Chafee, John Warner
E. Grey Lewis August 1, 1973 April 21, 1977 Richard Nixon John Warner, J. William Middendorf
Togo D. West, Jr. April 22, 1977 January 13, 1979 Jimmy Carter W. Graham Claytor, Jr.
Coleman Hicks May 25, 1979 January 13, 1981 Jimmy Carter Edward Hidalgo
Hugh O'Neill (Acting) June, 1981 August 24, 1981 Ronald Reagan John Lehman
Walter T. Skallerup, Jr. August 24, 1981 July 29, 1987 Ronald Reagan John Lehman
Harvey J. Wilcox (Deputy GC) July 29, 1987 November 21, 1988 Jim Webb, William L. Ball
Lawrence L. Lamade November 22, 1988 November 21, 1989 Ronald Reagan William L. Ball, Henry L. Garrett III
Craig S. King November 22, 1989 January 20, 1993 George H. W. Bush Henry L. Garrett III, Sean O'Keefe
Steven S. Honigman June 1, 1993 March 15, 1998 Bill Clinton John Howard Dalton
Eugene Angrist (Deputy GC) March 15, 1998 September 28, 1998 John Howard Dalton
Stephen W. Preston September 28, 1998 November 17, 2000 Bill Clinton Richard Danzig
John E. Sparks (Acting) November 17, 2000 December 12, 2000 Richard Danzig
William Molzahn (Deputy GC) December 12, 2000 July 25, 2001 Richard Danzig
Alberto J. Mora July 25, 2001 January 1, 2006 George W. Bush Gordon R. England
Paul C. Ney, Jr. (Acting) January 2, 2006 September 25, 2006 Donald C. Winter
Frank Jimenez September 25, 2006 April 30, 2009 George W. Bush Donald C. Winter
Anne M. Brennan (Acting) April 30, 2009 March 11, 2010 Ray Mabus
Paul L. Oostburg Sanz March 12, 2010 Barack Obama Ray Mabus


  1. ^
  2. ^ 5 U.S.C. § 5315
  3. ^ History of the Office of General Counsel of the Navy

See also

External links

  • Office of the General Counsel
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