United States order of precedence

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The United States order of precedence lists the ceremonial order for domestic and foreign government officials, military and civic leaders at diplomatic, ceremonial, and social events within the United States and abroad.[1] Former Presidents, Vice Presidents, First Ladies, Secretaries of State and Supreme Court Justices are also included in the list. The order is established by the President, through the Office of the Chief of Staff,[1] and is maintained by the State Department's Office of the Chief of Protocol.[2] It is only used to indicate ceremonial protocol and has no legal standing; it does not reflect the presidential line of succession or the co-equal status of the branches of government under the Constitution.

Details as of November 3, 2016[edit]

(Except as otherwise noted, positions in the list are from two sources.[3][4])

  1. President of the United States (Barack Obama)
  2. Foreign heads of state (including monarchs) and government
  3. Vice President of the United States (Joe Biden)
  4. Governor (of the state in which the event is held)
  5. Mayor (of the city in which the event is held)
  6. Speaker of the House of Representatives (Paul Ryan)
  7. Chief Justice of the United States (John Roberts)
  8. Former Presidents of the United States (ordered by term):
    1. Jimmy Carter (January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981)
    2. George H. W. Bush (January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993)
    3. Bill Clinton (January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001)
    4. George W. Bush (January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009)
  9. Ambassadors from the United States (at the Ambassador's post)
  10. Secretary of State (John Kerry)[5]
  11. Secretary-General of the United Nations (Ban Ki-moon)
  12. Ambassadors to the United States (ordered by the presentation of their credentials)
  13. Widows and widowers of former Presidents (currently none)
  14. Ministers of Foreign Powers accredited to the United States
  15. Associate Justices of the Supreme Court (ordered by appointment):
    1. Anthony Kennedy (February 18, 1988)
    2. Clarence Thomas (October 18, 1991)
    3. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (August 10, 1993)
    4. Stephen Breyer (August 3, 1994)
    5. Samuel Alito (January 31, 2006)
    6. Sonia Sotomayor (August 8, 2009)
    7. Elena Kagan (August 7, 2010)
    8. 1 vacant seat
  16. Retired Chief Justices of the United States (currently none)
  17. Retired Associate Justices of the Supreme Court (ordered by appointment):
    1. John Paul Stevens (December 19, 1975)
    2. Sandra Day O'Connor (September 25, 1981)
    3. David Souter (October 9, 1990)
  18. Members of the Cabinet (in the order of the creation of the respective departments; note that the Secretary of State already appears above; the creation date for the Secretary of War is used as the date for the Secretary of Defense's position in the precedence.):
    1. Secretary of the Treasury (Jack Lew)
    2. Secretary of Defense (Ash Carter)
    3. Attorney General (Loretta Lynch)
    4. Secretary of the Interior (Sally Jewell)
    5. Secretary of Agriculture (Tom Vilsack)
    6. Secretary of Commerce (Penny Pritzker)
    7. Secretary of Labor (Tom Perez)
    8. Secretary of Health and Human Services (Sylvia Burwell)
    9. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Julián Castro)
    10. Secretary of Transportation (Anthony Foxx)
    11. Secretary of Energy (Ernest Moniz)
    12. Secretary of Education (John King)
    13. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Bob McDonald)
    14. Secretary of Homeland Security (Jeh Johnson)
  19. White House Chief of Staff (Denis McDonough)
  20. Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Shaun Donovan)
  21. Director of National Drug Control Policy (Michael Botticelli)
  22. Trade Representative (Michael Froman)
  23. Director of National Intelligence (Jim Clapper)
  24. Ambassador to the United Nations (Samantha Power)
  25. President pro tempore of the Senate (Orrin Hatch)
  26. Current Senators (by seniority; see Seniority in the United States Senate; note that the President pro tempore of the Senate appears above.)
  27. State governors (of states other than that in which the event is held, by date of statehood or ratification of the Constitution):
    1. Governor of Delaware (Jack Markell)
    2. Governor of Pennsylvania (Tom Wolf)
    3. Governor of New Jersey (Chris Christie)
    4. Governor of Georgia (Nathan Deal)
    5. Governor of Connecticut (Dan Malloy)
    6. Governor of Massachusetts (Charlie Baker)
    7. Governor of Maryland (Larry Hogan)
    8. Governor of South Carolina (Nikki Haley)
    9. Governor of New Hampshire (Maggie Hassan)
    10. Governor of Virginia (Terry McAuliffe)
    11. Governor of New York (Andrew Cuomo)
    12. Governor of North Carolina (Pat McCrory)
    13. Governor of Rhode Island (Gina Raimondo)
    14. Governor of Vermont (Peter Shumlin)
    15. Governor of Kentucky (Matt Bevin)
    16. Governor of Tennessee (Bill Haslam)
    17. Governor of Ohio (John Kasich)
    18. Governor of Louisiana (John Edwards)
    19. Governor of Indiana (Mike Pence)
    20. Governor of Mississippi (Phil Bryant)
    21. Governor of Illinois (Bruce Rauner)
    22. Governor of Alabama (Robert Bentley)
    23. Governor of Maine (Paul LePage)
    24. Governor of Missouri (Jay Nixon)
    25. Governor of Arkansas (Asa Hutchinson)
    26. Governor of Michigan (Rick Snyder)
    27. Governor of Florida (Rick Scott)
    28. Governor of Texas (Greg Abbott)
    29. Governor of Iowa (Terry Branstad)
    30. Governor of Wisconsin (Scott Walker)
    31. Governor of California (Jerry Brown)
    32. Governor of Minnesota (Mark Dayton)
    33. Governor of Oregon (Kate Brown)
    34. Governor of Kansas (Sam Brownback)
    35. Governor of West Virginia (Earl Ray Tomblin)
    36. Governor of Nevada (Brian Sandoval)
    37. Governor of Nebraska (Pete Ricketts)
    38. Governor of Colorado (John Hickenlooper)
    39. Governor of North Dakota (Jack Dalrymple)
    40. Governor of South Dakota (Dennis Daugaard)
    41. Governor of Montana (Steve Bullock)
    42. Governor of Washington (Jay Inslee)
    43. Governor of Idaho (Butch Otter)
    44. Governor of Wyoming (Matt Mead)
    45. Governor of Utah (Gary Herbert)
    46. Governor of Oklahoma (Mary Fallin)
    47. Governor of New Mexico (Susana Martinez)
    48. Governor of Arizona (Doug Ducey)
    49. Governor of Alaska (Bill Walker)
    50. Governor of Hawaii (David Ige)
  28. Acting heads of executive departments
  29. Former Vice Presidents (ordered by term) (note that George H. W. Bush, who would otherwise appear in this list, already appears above as a former President):
    1. Walter Mondale (January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981)
    2. Dan Quayle (January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993)
    3. Al Gore (January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001)
    4. Dick Cheney (January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009)
  30. Current members of the House of Representatives (by seniority; see List of current members of the United States House of Representatives by seniority; note that the Speaker of the House (currently Representative Paul Ryan) appears above.)
  31. Current Delegates to the House of Representatives (by seniority):
    1. Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia (January 3, 1991)
    2. Madeleine Bordallo of Guam (January 3, 2003)
    3. Pedro Pierluisi, of Puerto Rico (January 3, 2009)
    4. Gregorio Sablan of the Northern Mariana Islands (January 3, 2009)
    5. Stacey Plaskett of the U. S. Virgin Islands (January 3, 2015)
    6. Amata Coleman Radewagen of American Samoa (January 3, 2015)
  32. Governor of Puerto Rico (Alejandro García Padilla)
  33. National Security Advisor (Susan Rice)
  34. Counselor to the President and Assistants to the President
  35. Chargés d'affaires of foreign countries
  36. Former Secretaries of State (ordered by term):
    1. Henry Kissinger (September 22, 1973 – January 20, 1977)
    2. George Shultz (July 16, 1982 – January 20, 1989)
    3. James Baker (January 20, 1989 – August 23, 1992)
    4. Madeleine Albright (January 23, 1997 – January 20, 2001)
    5. Colin Powell (January 20, 2001 – January 26, 2005)
    6. Condoleezza Rice (January 26, 2005 – January 20, 2009)
    7. Hillary Clinton (January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013) (note that Hillary Clinton would appear above when in attendance with her husband, former President Bill Clinton)
  37. Deputy Secretaries of Executive Departments (in the order of the creation of the respective departments as for Secretaries above):
    1. Deputy Secretaries of State (Tony Blinken and Heather Higginbottom)
    2. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury (Sarah Raskin)
    3. Deputy Secretary of Defense (Robert Work)
    4. Deputy Attorney General (Sally Yates)
    5. Deputy Secretary of the Interior (Michael Connor)
    6. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture (Michael Scuse) (acting)
    7. Deputy Secretary of Commerce (Bruce Andrews)
    8. Deputy Secretary of Labor (Chris Lu)
    9. Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services (Mary Wakefield)
    10. Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Nani Coloretti)
    11. Deputy Secretary of Transportation (Victor Mendez)
    12. Deputy Secretary of Energy (Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall)
    13. Deputy Secretary of Education (James Cole) (Acting)
    14. Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Sloan Gibson)
    15. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security (Alejandro Mayorkas)
  38. Solicitor General (Ian Gershengorn) (Acting)
  39. Administrator of the Agency for International Development (Gayle Smith)
  40. Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (Rose Gottemoeller)
  41. Under Secretaries of State and Counsels
  42. Under Secretaries of Executive Departments
  43. United States Ambassadors-at-Large
  44. Secretaries of the military departments (by creation order of branch):
    1. Secretary of the Army (Eric Fanning)
    2. Secretary of the Navy (Ray Mabus)
    3. Secretary of the Air Force (Deborah James)
  45. Postmaster General (Megan Brennan)
  46. Chair of the Federal Reserve (Janet Yellen)
  47. Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (Michael Boots)
  48. Chair of the Export-Import Bank (Fred Hochberg)
  49. Chair of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (Michael Kennedy)
  50. Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Joe Dunford)
  51. Under Secretaries of Defense
  52. Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Paul Selva)
  53. Joint Chiefs of Staff (ordered by appointment):
    1. Chief of Staff of the Army (Mark Milley)
    2. Chief of Naval Operations (John Richardson)
    3. Commandant of the Marine Corps (Robert Neller)
    4. Chief of Staff of the Air Force (David Goldfein)
  54. Chief of the National Guard Bureau (Joseph Lengyel)
  55. Commandant of the Coast Guard (Paul Zukunft)
  56. Commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands of four-star grade (ordered by appointment):
    1. Pacific Command (Harry Harris)
    2. Transportation Command (Darren McDew)
    3. Southern Command (Kurt Tidd)
    4. Central Command (Joseph Votel)
    5. Special Operations Command (Raymond Thomas)
    6. European Command (Curtis Scaparrotti)
    7. Northern Command (Lori Robinson)
    8. Africa Command (Tom Waldhauser)
    9. Strategic Command (John Hyten)
  57. Generals of the Army (currently none), Generals of the Air Force (currently none), and Fleet Admirals (currently none)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "U.S. State Department Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 2 Section 320 "Precedence"". Retrieved December 13, 2015. Precedence Lists establish the order or ranking of a country’s government, military, and, in some cases, civic leaders for diplomatic, ceremonial, and social events, at home and abroad. The President, through the Office of the Chief of Staff, establishes the United States Order of Precedence. 
  2. ^ "What Does the Office of the Chief of Protocol Do?". U.S. State Department. Retrieved June 25, 2009. 21. Maintain and update the United States Order of Precedence List. 
  3. ^ "Protocol: Order of Precedence". Archived from the original on November 13, 2006. Retrieved July 15, 2009. Use this list when developing seating charts, speaking programs, and announcements. 
  4. ^ "Order of Precedence". Archived from the original on April 17, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2009. The following list is an abridged, unofficial version but conforms to established, customary rules of precedence. 
  5. ^ http://www.formsofaddress.info/precedence.html#053

External links[edit]