Eye Opener: Pentagon changes line of succession
Happy Tuesday! Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has reorganized the Pentagon's line of succession, reverting back to a pre-Rumsfeld pecking order that emphasizes civilian service chiefs and adds new positions.
President Obama issued an executive order Monday that restocks the order this way in the event that Gates dies or is otherwise unable to serve:
1.) Deputy Secretary of Defense
2.) Secretary of the Army
3.) Secretary of the Navy
4.) Secretary of the Air Force
5.) Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology, and Logistics
6.) Undersecretary of Defense for Policy
7.) Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller)
8.) Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
9.) Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
10.) Deputy Chief Management Officer
11.) Principal Deputy Undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics 12.) Principal Deputy Undersecretary for policy 13.) Defense Comptroller 14.) Principal Deputy Undersecretary for personnel and readiness 15.) Principal Deputy Undersecretary for intelligence 16.) Director of Defense Research and Engineering 17.) Defense Department General Counsel, the assistant secretaries of Defense, the assistant to the secretary for nuclear and chemical and biological defense programs; director of operational test and evaluation, the director of operational energy plans and programs, and the director of cost assessment and program evaluation 18.) The Undersecretaries of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force 19.) Assistant secretaries of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, and General Counsels of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force.
Two restrictions: Nobody serving in an acting capacity and no one not appointed by Obama and confirmed by the Senate will act as secretary in the event of a catastrophe. The new order will, of course, have no real impact on daily Pentagon operations.
Gates thoroughly reviewed the list and recommended transitioning back to the historical order, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
The revised order once again puts the secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force ahead of the undersecretaries for intelligence, policy and acquisitions. Donald Rumsfeld placed them higher up in 2005, consistent with his "interest in keeping his top advisers in line to run the department in the event of a catastrophe," The Post reported in Dec. 2005.
Agree or disagree with the decision?
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| March 2, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Eye Opener
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