Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering

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The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)) is a senior official of the United States Department of Defense. The ASD(R&E) and the office s/he heads are charged with the development and oversight of DoD technology strategy for the DoD. The ASD(R&E) reports to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD(AT&L)). The post (or effectively the same post) has at various times had the titles Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering (USDR&E), or Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E). The latter title has itself historically varied between the rank of Under Secretary and that of Assistant Secretary.

ASD(R&E) is the principal staff advisor for research and engineering matters to the USD(AT&L), and also the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense. In this capacity, ASD(R&E) serves as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the Department of Defense charged with the development and oversight of DoD technology strategy in concert with the Department’s current and future requirements. The goal of ASD(R&E)is to extend the capabilities of current war fighting systems, develop breakthrough capabilities, hedge against an uncertain future through a set of scientific and engineering options and counter strategic surprise. In cooperation with the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology (DUSD(A&T)), ASD(R&E) also provides advice and assistance in developing policies for rapid technology transition.

As of July 2009, DDR&E introduced four areas of focus in support of the immediate and future needs of the DoD:

  • Accelerate delivery of technical capabilities to win the current fight.
  • Prepare for an uncertain future.
  • Reduce the cost, acquisition time and risk of .. major defense acquisition programs.
  • Develop world class science, technology, engineering, and mathematics capabilities for the DoD and the Nation.

History[edit]

The National Security Act of 1947 and its 1949 amendments established the Department of Defense, including the establishment of two statutory boards, a Munitions Board, and a Research and Development Board. In June, 1953, President Eisenhower’s Reorganization Plan No. 6 abolished the boards as such, and created six new Assistant Secretaries of Defense, two of which were predecessors to the current ASD(R&E): ASD (Applications Engineering) and ASD (Research and Development). Some time later, the Applications Engineering position became simply Engineering.

In March 1957, the two related ASDs were combined to become the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering, ASD(R&E). Then, under the DoD Reorganization Act of 1958 (PL 85-599, effective August 6, 1958), the position of ASD(R&E) was abolished and replaced by a new Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E), with the higher rank of Under Secretary.

From May 19, 1961, until July 15, 1965, the Deputy DDR&E held the additional title of ASD(R&E), on the theory that this position reported to, in rank, an Under Secretary, the DDR&E. On October 21, 1977, PL 95-140 made the rank of the DDR&E unambiguous by renaming it to Under Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering, USD(R&E).

The history of Department of Defense management of science and technology up to the 1980s is described at greater length in a report available from the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC).[1]

The Military Reform Act of 1986 expanded the scope of USD(R&E) position to encompass acquisition and logistics, as well as technology, and it was renamed USD(AT&L), as it remains today. A subordinate position at the Assistant Secretary level was reestablished with the previous title DDR&E. However, budget control of the technology portfolio was kept by USD(AT&L), diminishing the importance of the DDR&E position subsequently.

On January 7, 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act with several redesignated titles within the Department of Defense. These changes included renaming the DDR&E as, once again, ASD(R&E).[2]

Office Holders[edit]

The table below includes both the various names which this position has been named over time, as well as all the holders of those various offices.

Directors[3]
Name Tenure SecDef(s) Served Under President(s) Served Under
Chairman, Research and Development Board
Vannevar Bush Sept 30, 1947 – Oct 14, 1948 James V. Forrestal Harry Truman
Karl T. Compton Oct 15, 1948 – March 14, 1950 James V. Forrestal
Louis A. Johnson
Harry Truman
William Webster March 15, 1950 – July 31, 1951 Louis A. Johnson
George C. Marshall
Harry Truman
Walter G. Whitman Aug 1, 1951 – June 29, 1953 George C. Marshall
Robert A. Lovett
Charles E. Wilson
Harry Truman
Dwight Eisenhower
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Development)
Donald A. Quarles Sept 1, 1953 – Aug 14, 1955 Charles E. Wilson Dwight Eisenhower
Clifford C. Furnas Dec 1, 1955 – Feb 15, 1957 Charles E. Wilson Dwight Eisenhower
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Applications Engineering)
Frank D. Newbury Aug 18, 1953 – March 17, 1957 Charles E. Wilson Dwight Eisenhower
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering)
Frank D. Newbury March 18, 1957 – May 17, 1957 Charles E. Wilson Dwight Eisenhower
Paul D. Foote Sept 10, 1957 – Oct 31, 1958 Charles E. Wilson
Neil H. McElroy
Dwight Eisenhower
John H. Rubel (as Deputy DDR&E) May 19, 1961 – June 15, 1963 Thomas S. Gates
Robert S. McNamara
Dwight Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Eugene G. Fubini (as Deputy DDR&E) July 3, 1963 - July 15, 1965 Robert S. McNamara John F. Kennedy
Director, Defense Research and Engineering
Herbert F. York Dec 30, 1958 – April 30, 1961 Neil H. McElroy
Thomas S. Gates
Robert S. McNamara
Dwight Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Harold Brown May 8, 1961 – Sept 30, 1965 Robert S. McNamara John F. Kennedy
Lyndon Johnson
John S. Foster, Jr. Oct 1, 1965 – June 21, 1973 Robert S. McNamara
Clark M. Clifford
Melvin R. Laird
Elliot L. Richardson
Lyndon Johnson
Richard Nixon
Malcolm R. Currie June 21, 1973 – Jan 20, 1977 James R. Schlesinger
Donald H. Rumsfeld
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
William J. Perry April 11, 1977 – Oct 21, 1977 Harold Brown Jimmy Carter
Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
William J. Perry Nov 4, 1977 – Jan 20, 1981 Harold Brown Jimmy Carter
Walter B. Laberge (Acting) January 21, 1981 - March 10, 1981 Caspar W. Weinberger Ronald Reagan
James P. Wade, Jr. (Acting) March 11, 1981 - May 6, 1981 Caspar W. Weinberger Ronald Reagan
Richard D. DeLauer May 7, 1981 – Nov 4, 1984 Caspar W. Weinberger Ronald Reagan
James P. Wade, Jr. (Acting) December 1, 1981 - July 5, 1985 Caspar W. Weinberger Ronald Reagan
Donald A. Hicks Aug 6, 1985 – Oct 10, 1986 Caspar W. Weinberger Ronald Reagan
Director, Defense Research and Engineering
Robert C. Duncan Dec 17, 1987 – Nov 30, 1989 Frank C. Carlucci III
William H. Taft IV (Acting)
Richard B. Cheney
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Charles M. Herzfeld March 12, 1990 – May 18, 1991 Richard B. Cheney George H. W. Bush
Victor H. Reis Dec 3, 1991 – May 31, 1993 Richard B. Cheney
Leslie Aspin, Jr.
George H. W. Bush
William Clinton
Anita K. Jones June 1, 1993 – May 23, 1997 Leslie Aspin, Jr.
William J. Perry
William S. Cohen
William Clinton
Hans M. Mark July 1, 1998 – May 10, 2001 William S. Cohen
Donald H. Rumsfeld
William Clinton
George W. Bush
Ronald M. Sega Aug 14, 2001 – Aug 3, 2005 Donald H. Rumsfeld George W. Bush
John J. Young, Jr. Nov 2, 2005 – Nov 20, 2007 Donald H. Rumsfeld
Robert M. Gates
George W. Bush
Alan R. Shaffer (Acting) Nov 21, 2007 – July 1, 2009 Robert M. Gates George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Zachary J. Lemnios July 2, 2009 – January 7, 2011 Robert M. Gates Barack Obama
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering)
Zachary J. Lemnios January 7, 2011 – November 30, 2012 Leon Panetta Barack Obama

References[edit]

  1. ^ O'Neil, William D. and Gene H. Porter, “What to Buy? The Role of Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E): Lessons from the 1970s,” IDA Paper P-4675 (Alexandria, Virginia: Institute for Defense Analyses, Jan 2011) http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA549549.
  2. ^ Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
  3. ^ "A History of the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering". DoD. 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 

External links[edit]