Chief of Staff of the United States Army

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Chief of Staff of the Army
United States Army Staff Identification Badge.png
Army Staff Identification Badge
Flag US Army Chief of Staff.svg
Flag of the Chief of Staff
McConville as CSA.jpg
General James C. McConville

since 9 August 2019
Department of the Army
Army Staff
TypeUnited States Army service chief
Member ofJoint Chiefs of Staff
Reports toSecretary of the Army
ResidenceQuarters 1, Fort Myer
SeatThe Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length4 years
Renewable one time, only during war or national emergency
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 3033
PrecursorCommanding General of the Army
Formation15 August 1903
First holderLTG Samuel B. M. Young
DeputyVice Chief of Staff of the Army

The chief of staff of the Army (CSA) is a statutory position in the United States Army held by a general officer. As the highest-ranking officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, the chief 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 of the United States. The CSA is typically the highest-ranking officer on active duty in the U.S. Army unless the chairman 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 40th and current Chief of Staff of the Army is General James C. McConville.


The chief of staff of the Army is nominated by for appointment by the president, for a four-year term of office,[1] and must be confirmed by the Senate.[1] The chief can be reappointed to serve one additional term, but only during times of war or national emergency declared by Congress.[1] By statute, the chief is appointed as a four-star general.[1]

The chief has an official residence, Quarters 1 at Joint Base Myer–Henderson Hall, Virginia.


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 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 chief also directs the inspector general of the Army to perform inspections and investigations as required. In addition, the chief presides over the Army Staff and represents Army capabilities, requirements, policy, plans, and programs in Joint forums.[2] Under delegation of authority made by the secretary of the Army, the chief designates army personnel and army resources to the commanders of the unified combatant commands.[3] The chief performs all other functions enumerated in 10 U.S.C. § 3033 under the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of the Army, or delegates those duties and responsibilities to other officers in his administration in his name. Like the other service counterparts, the chief has no operational command authority over army forces, dating back to the passage of the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1958. The chief is served by a number of Deputy Chiefs of Staff of the Army, such as G-1, Personnel. The chief's base pay is $21,147.30 per month and also received a Personal Money Allowance (Monthly Amount) of $333.33, a basic allowance for subsistence of $253.38, and a basic allowance for housing from $50.70 to $1923.30.


Prior to 1903, the senior military officer in the army was the Commanding General of the United States Army, who reported to the Secretary of War. From 1864 to 1865, Major General Henry 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.[clarification needed]

List of chiefs of staff of the Army (1903–present)[edit]

The rank listed is the rank when serving in the office.

No. Portrait Chief of Staff
of the Army
Took office Left office Time in office Notes
Samuel B. M. Young
Nabersberg, KarlLieutenant General
Samuel B. M. Young
15 August 19038 January 1904146 daysRetired upon reaching mandatory retirement age of 64.
Adna Chaffee
Chaffee, AdnaLieutenant General
Adna Chaffee
9 January 190414 January 19062 years, 5 daysResigned position; retired in February at own request, shortly before reaching mandatory retirement age of 64.
John C. Bates
Bates, JohnLieutenant General
John C. Bates
15 January 190613 April 190689 daysLast Civil War veteran to serve as Chief of Staff. Retired in April 1906 at own request, shortly before reaching mandatory retirement age of 64.
J. Franklin Bell
Bell, JamesMajor General
J. Franklin Bell
14 April 190621 April 19104 years, 7 daysCommanded several divisions and departments after serving as Chief of Staff. Died while commanding Department of the East shortly after the end of World War I.
Leonard Wood
Wood, LeonardMajor General
Leonard Wood
22 April 191021 April 19143 years, 364 daysCommanded divisions and departments, including organizing and training two divisions for combat in World War I. Retired in 1921.
William W. Wotherspoon
Wotherspoon, WilliamMajor General
William W. Wotherspoon
22 April 191416 November 1914208 daysRetired upon reaching mandatory retirement age of 64.
Hugh L. Scott
Wotherspoon, WilliamMajor General
Hugh L. Scott
17 November 191422 September 19172 years, 309 daysRetired upon reaching mandatory retirement age of 64. Recalled to active duty for World War I; commanded a division during its organization and training before retiring again in 1919.
Tasker H. Bliss
Bliss, TaskerGeneral
Tasker H. Bliss
23 September 191719 May 1918238 daysRetired upon reaching mandatory retirement age of 64 in 1917. Continued on active duty to remain Chief of Staff during World War I; served as U.S. representative on Supreme War Council and as U.S. representative during post-war Paris Peace Conference. Retired again in 1920.
Peyton C. March
March, PeytonGeneral
Peyton C. March
20 May 191830 June 19213 years, 41 daysRetired at own request in 1921.
John J. Pershing
Pershing, JohnGeneral of the Armies
John J. Pershing
1 July 192113 September 19243 years, 74 daysLast Indian Wars veteran to serve as Chief of Staff. Retired from active military service upon reaching age 64 in 1924.
John L. Hines
Hines, JohnMajor General
John L. Hines
14 September 192420 November 19262 years, 68 daysCommanded IX Corps Area and Department of the Philippines; retired upon reaching mandatory retirement age of 64 in 1932.
Charles P. Summerall
Summerall, CharlesGeneral
Charles P. Summerall
21 November 192620 November 19303 years, 364 daysPlaced on extended leave until reaching mandatory retirement age of 64 in 1931.
Douglas MacArthur
MacArthur, DouglasGeneral
Douglas MacArthur
21 November 19301 October 19354 years, 315 daysSupervised creation of the Philippine Army. Retired in 1937, and continued to serve in the Philippines as military advisor to the president. Recalled to active duty in 1941; led defense of the Philippines during World War II, and then commanded South West Pacific Area. Promoted to General of the Army on 18 December 1944. Served as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in occupied Japan, and led initial U.S. and UNC effort during Korean War. Relieved of command and retired from active military service in 1951.
Malin Craig
Craig, MalinGeneral
Malin Craig
2 October 193531 August 19393 years, 333 daysLast Spanish–American War veteran to serve as Chief of Staff. Retired upon reaching mandatory retirement age of 64 in 1939; recalled to active duty for World War II as head of the War Department Personnel Board.
George C. Marshall
Marshall, GeorgeGeneral of the Army
George C. Marshall
1 September 193918 November 19456 years, 78 daysLast Philippine–American War veteran to serve as Chief of Staff. Attained mandatory retirement age of 64 in 1944, but continued to serve as Chief of Staff. Relieved from active military duties in November 1945. Implemented the Marshall Plan as Secretary of State following World War II, for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. Later Secretary of Defense during the Korean War.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Eisenhower, DwightGeneral of the Army
Dwight D. Eisenhower
19 November 19456 February 19482 years, 79 daysRelieved from active military duties in 1948. Recalled to active duty in 1951 to serve as first Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Retired in May 1952 upon becoming a candidate for President of the United States in the 1952 presidential election. Served two terms as President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. Returned to the active rolls as a General of the Army in 1961, with no assigned duties.
Omar Bradley
Bradley, OmarGeneral
Omar Bradley
7 February 194815 August 19491 year, 189 daysAppointed as the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 19 August 1949. Promoted to General of the Army on 22 September 1950. Relieved as CJCS on 15 August 1953.
J. Lawton Collins
Collins, JosephGeneral
J. Lawton Collins
16 August 194914 August 19533 years, 363 daysUS Representative to NATO from 1953 to 1954. Special representative of the United States in Vietnam from 1954 to 1955. US representative to NATO from 1955 until reaching mandatory retirement age of 60 in 1956.
Matthew B. Ridgway
Ridgway, MatthewGeneral
Matthew B. Ridgway
15 August 195329 June 19551 year, 319 daysLast World War I veteran to serve as Chief of Staff. Retired in June 1955, declining age waiver that would have allowed him to complete full term.
Maxwell D. Taylor
Taylor, MaxwellGeneral
Maxwell D. Taylor
30 June 195530 June 19594 years, 0 daysRetired in 1959. Recalled to active duty in 1961 to serve as Military Representative to the President. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1962 to 1964. Retired in 1964 to become United States Ambassador to South Vietnam.
Lyman L. Lemnitzer
Lemnitzer, LymanGeneral
Lyman L. Lemnitzer
1 July 195930 September 19601 year, 91 daysChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1960 to 1962. Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, 1963 to 1969. Retired upon reaching mandatory retirement age of 60 in 1969.
George H. Decker
Decker, GeorgeGeneral
George H. Decker
1 October 196030 September 19621 year, 364 daysRetired upon reaching mandatory retirement age of 60 in 1962.
Earle G. Wheeler
Decker, GeorgeGeneral
Earle G. Wheeler
1 October 19622 July 19641 year, 275 daysChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1964 to 1970, including waiver to serve beyond mandatory retirement age of 60. Retired in 1970.
Harold K. Johnson
Johnson, HaroldGeneral
Harold K. Johnson
3 July 19642 July 19683 years, 365 daysRetired at end of term.
William C. Westmoreland
Westmoreland, WilliamGeneral
William C. Westmoreland
3 July 196830 June 19723 years, 363 daysRetired at end of term.
Bruce Palmer Jr.
Westmoreland, WilliamGeneral
Bruce Palmer Jr.
1 July 197211 October 1972102 daysResumed duties as Vice Chief of Staff upon appointment of Creighton W. Abrams as Chief of Staff. Commander, United States Readiness Command, 1973 to 1974. Retired in 1974.
Creighton W. Abrams
Abrams, CreightonGeneral
Creighton W. Abrams
12 October 19724 September 1974 †1 year, 328 daysDied in office.
Frederick C. Weyand
Weyand, FrederickGeneral
Frederick C. Weyand
3 October 197430 September 19761 year, 363 daysRetired upon reaching mandatory retirement age of 60.
Bernard W. Rogers
Rogers, BernardGeneral
Bernard W. Rogers
1 October 197621 June 19792 years, 263 daysLast World War II veteran to serve as Chief of Staff. Supreme Allied Commander Europe, 1979 to 1987, including waiver to continue service past age 60. Retired in 1987.
Edward C. Meyer
Meyer, EdwardGeneral
Edward C. Meyer
22 June 197921 June 19833 years, 364 daysLast Korean War veteran to serve as Chief of Staff. Retired at end of term.
John A. Wickham Jr.
Wickham, JohnGeneral
John A. Wickham Jr.
(born 1928)
23 July 198323 June 19874 years, 0 daysRetired at end of term.
Carl E. Vuono
Vuono, CarlGeneral
Carl E. Vuono
(born 1934)
23 June 198721 June 19913 years, 363 daysRetired at end of term.
Gordon R. Sullivan
Sullivan, GordonGeneral
Gordon R. Sullivan
(born 1937)
21 June 199120 June 19953 years, 364 daysRetired at end of term.
Dennis J. Reimer
Reimer, DennisGeneral
Dennis J. Reimer
(born 1939)
20 June 199521 June 19994 years, 1 dayRetired at end of term.
Eric K. Shinseki
Shinseki, EricGeneral
Eric K. Shinseki
(born 1942)
21 June 199911 July 20045 years, 20 daysLast Vietnam War veteran to serve as Chief of Staff. Retired at end of term. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 2009 to 2014.
Peter J. Schoomaker
Schoomaker, PeterGeneral
Peter J. Schoomaker
(born 1946)
1 August 200410 April 20072 years, 252 daysRetired in 2000. Recalled to active duty to serve as Chief of Staff. Retired again at end of term.
George W. Casey Jr.
Casey, GeorgeGeneral
George W. Casey Jr.
(born 1948)
10 April 200710 April 20114 years, 0 daysRetired at end of term.
Martin E. Dempsey
Dempsey, MartinGeneral
Martin E. Dempsey
(born 1952)
11 April 20117 September 2011149 daysTerm shortened due to appointment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[4]
Raymond T. Odierno
Odierno, RaymondGeneral
Raymond T. Odierno
7 September 201114 August 20153 years, 341 daysRetired at end of term.
Mark A. Milley
Milley, MarkGeneral
Mark A. Milley
(born 1958)
14 August 20159 August 20193 years, 360 daysAppointed as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
James C. McConville
McConville, JamesGeneral
James C. McConville
(born 1959)
9 August 2019Incumbent2 years, 313 days


James C. McConvilleMark A. MilleyRaymond T. OdiernoMartin DempseyGeorge W. Casey Jr.Peter SchoomakerEric ShinsekiDennis ReimerGordon R. SullivanCarl E. VuonoJohn A. Wickham Jr.Edward C. MeyerBernard W. RogersFrederick C. WeyandCreighton AbramsWilliam WestmorelandHarold Keith JohnsonEarle WheelerGeorge DeckerLyman LemnitzerMaxwell D. TaylorMatthew RidgwayJ. Lawton CollinsOmar BradleyDwigh D. EisenhowerGeorge C. MarshallMalin CraigDouglas MacArthurCharles Pelot SummerallJohn L. HinesJohn J. PershingPeyton C. MarchTasker H. BlissHugh L. ScottWilliam Wallace WotherspoonLeonard WoodJ. Franklin BellJohn C. BatesAdna ChaffeeSamuel Baldwin Marks Young

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d, 10 USC 3033. Chief of Staff
  2. ^ "General George Casey - Chief of Staff Army". Archived from the original on 11 September 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2007.
  3. ^, 10 USC 165. Combatant commands: administration and support
  4. ^ Historical Resources Branch, United States Army Center of Military History


Further reading[edit]

  • Hewes, Jr., James E. From Root to McNamara: Army Organization and Administration, 1900–1963 (1975) .
  • Semsch, Philip L. "Elihu Root and the General Staff." Military Affairs (1963): 16-27.
  • Skowronek, Stephen. Building a New American State: The Expansion of National Administrative Capacities, 1877–1920 (Cambridge University Press, 1982) pp 212-247.
  • Watson, Mark Skinner. Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations. United States Army in World War II. Washington D.C.: United States Army Center of Military History. - full text
  • White, Richard D. "Civilian management of the military: Elihu Root and the 1903 reorganization of the army general staff." Journal of Management History (1998) 4#1 (1998), pp. 43-59.

External links[edit]