General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force

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General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force
SAF/GC
Office of the General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force.gif
Seal of the Office of the General Counsel
Flag of the General Counsel and Assistant Secretaries of the Air Force.png
Flag of the General Counsel and the Assistant Secretaries of the Air Force
Peter J. Beshar.jpg
Incumbent
Peter J. Beshar

since March 18, 2022
Department of the Air Force
StyleThe Honorable
Reports toSecretary of the Air Force
Under Secretary of the Air Force
SeatThe Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, United States
NominatorThe President with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 9019
Formation1947
First holderBrackley Shaw
Succession18th in SecDef succession by seniority of appointment
DeputyPrincipal Deputy General Counsel of the Air Force
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level IV[1]
WebsiteOfficial website

The General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force[2] (acronym SAF/GC) is the chief legal officer of the U.S. Department of the Air Force.

By U.S. law, the General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force is appointed from civilian life by the President of the United States upon the advice and consent of the United States Senate, and performs such duties as the Secretary of the Air Force specifies.[3]

According to Secretary of the Air Force Order No. 111.5, dated July 14, 2005, "The General Counsel is the chief legal officer and chief ethics official of the Department of the Air Force. Legal opinions issued by the Office of the General Counsel shall be the controlling opinions of the Department of the Air Force. The General Counsel provides advice in accordance with applicable statues on any legal subject and on other matters as directed by the Secretary."[4] In other words, the General Counsel of the Air Force advises the Secretary of the Air Force, the Under Secretary of the Air Force, and the Assistant Secretaries of the Air Force, as well as the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Chief of Space Operations, and other military leaders of the United States Air Force and United States Space Force on legal matters, other than those statutory duties under the Uniform Code of Military Justice performed by the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force.

The current General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force is Peter Beshar, who was sworn in on March 18, 2022.[5]

List of General Counsels of the Department of the Air Force (incomplete list)[edit]

Image Name Assumed office Left office President appointed by Secretary served under
Brackley Shaw 1947 1949 Harry S. Truman W. Stuart Symington
William T. Thurman 1950 1950 Harry S. Truman W. Stuart Symington, Thomas K. Finletter
James T. Hill Jr. 1950 1952 Harry S. Truman Thomas K. Finletter
John Alvin Johnson 1952 1958 Dwight Eisenhower Thomas K. Finletter, Harold E. Talbott, Donald A. Quarles, James H. Douglas Jr.
Max Golden 1958 1962 Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy James H. Douglas Jr., Dudley C. Sharp, Eugene M. Zuckert
Gerritt W. Wesselink 1964 1965 Lyndon B. Johnson Eugene M. Zuckert
Stephen N Shulman.jpg Stephen N. Shulman 1965 1966 Lyndon Johnson Eugene M. Zuckert, Harold Brown
J. William Doolittle 1966 1968 Lyndon Johnson Harold Brown
John M. Steadman 1968 1970 Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon Harold Brown, Robert C. Seamans, Jr.
Jack L. Stempler 1970 1977 Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford Robert C. Seamans, Jr., John L. McLucas, James W. Plummer, Thomas C. Reed,
Peter B. Hamilton 1977 1978 Jimmy Carter John C. Stetson
Stuart R. Reichart 1979 1981 Jimmy Carter John C. Stetson, Hans M. Mark, Verne Orr
David E. Place 1981 1984 Ronald Reagan Verne Orr
Portrait of Eugene R. Sullivan, Judge, U.S. Court of Military Appeals.jpg Eugene R. Sullivan 1984 1986 Ronald Reagan Verne Orr, Russell A. Rourke
Portrait of Kathleen A. Buck.jpg Kathleen A. Buck 1986 1987 Ronald Reagan Russell A. Rourke, Edward C. Aldridge, Jr.
Anne N. Foreman (1989).png Anne N. Foreman 1987 1989 Ronald Reagan Edward C. Aldridge, Jr.
Ann C. Petersen 1989 1993 George H. W. Bush Donald B. Rice
Gilbert Casellas EEOC.jpg Gilbert F. Casellas 1993 1994 Bill Clinton Sheila E. Widnall
Sheila C. Cheston 1995 1998 Bill Clinton Sheila E. Widnall
Jeh Johnson official portrait 2011.jpg Jeh Charles Johnson 1998 2001 Bill Clinton F. Whitten Peters
Mary L. Walkercrop.jpg Mary L. Walker 2001 2008 George W. Bush James G. Roche, Michael Wynne
Charles A Blanchard.jpg Charles A. Blanchard 2009 2013 Barack Obama Michael B. Donley
Gordon O. Tanner, Air Force General Counsel.jpg Gordon O. Tanner 2014 2017 Barack Obama Deborah Lee James
Thomas E. Ayres official photo (cropped).jpg Thomas E. Ayres 2018 2021 Donald Trump Heather Wilson
Matthew Donovan (acting)
Barbara Barrett
Craig A. Smith.jpg Craig A. Smith (acting)[6] 2021 2022 Joe Biden John P. Roth (acting)
Frank Kendall III
Peter J. Beshar.jpg Peter J. Beshar 2022 present Joe Biden Frank Kendall III

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 5 U.S.C. § 5315
  2. ^ "Thomas e. Ayres".
  3. ^ 10 U.S.C. § 9019
  4. ^ General Counsel webpage
  5. ^ "Beshar swears in as Department of the Air Force general counsel". Hill Air Force Base. Washington, D.C.: Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs. March 18, 2022. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  6. ^ "Craig A. Smith". U.S. Air Force. Retrieved 11 October 2021.

External links[edit]