United States Assistant Secretary of War
United States Department of War
Reports toUnited States Secretary of War
AppointerPresident of the United States with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
First holderThomas Alexander Scott
Final holderHoward C. Petersen
Flag of the United States Assistant Secretary of War. It is now the flag of the U.S. Under Secretary of the Army.

The United States Assistant Secretary of War was the second–ranking official within the American Department of War from 1861 to 1867, from 1882 to 1883, and from 1890 to 1940. According to the Military Laws of the United States, "The act of August 5, 1882 authorizing the appointment of an Assistant Secretary of War was repealed by the act of July 7, 1884 (23 Stat L., 331) the power conferred by the act of August 5, 1882 never having been exercised," indicating that the post was not filled between 1882 and 1883 (p. 45, footnote 2).

In 1940, the new position of United States Under Secretary of War replaced this position as the number-two office in the department. Assistant Secretary Robert P. Patterson became the first Under Secretary.[1]

The office continued to exercise administrative duties until the department's end in 1947, when the United States Department of Defense was established.

List of Assistant Secretaries of War

This list only includes those persons who served as the Assistant Secretary, or First Assistant Secretary. At various times, there were also "second" or "third" assistant secretaries, ranking below the Assistant Secretary.

Assistant Secretary of War for Air

The Air Corps Act of 1926 (44 Stat. 780), passed on July 2 of that year,[20] created a Second Assistant Secretary position in the War Department variously called "Assistant Secretary of War for Aviation," "Assistant Secretary of War for Air," or "Assistant Secretary of War for Aeronautics." Those holding the office, with an eigh-–year vacancy between 1933 and 1941, were F. Trubee Davison (1926–1933),[21] Robert A. Lovett (1941–1945),[22] and Stuart Symington (1946–1947).[23]

See also


  1. ^ Arlington National Cemetery: Robert Porter Patterson
  2. ^ a b c d e f Perley Poore, Benjamin (1878). The political register and congressional directory: a statistical record of the Federal Officials...1776-1878. Boston: Houghton, Osgood and Company. p. 232.
  3. ^ Secretaries of War and Interim And Acting Secretaries Of The Army
  4. ^ General Doe, soldier and lawyer, was pioneer in baseball
  5. ^ New York Times: G. D. Meiklejohn In Nebraska. Assistant Secretary of War Speaks at Grand Island on the History of Imperialism
  6. ^ New York Times
  7. ^ Sanger Mansion
  8. ^ Pennsylvania at Antietam: Report of the Antietam Battlefield Memorial commission (mentions Oliver as Assistant Secretary, and Acting Secretary, of War, as of 1904)
  9. ^ Gallery of History (says that Oliver served as Assistant Secretary longer than any other individual)
  10. ^ "W. M. Ingraham, 80, Wilson Aide In 1917. Assistant Secretary of War for a Year Dies. Former Mayor of Portland, Me". New York Times. October 13, 1951. Retrieved 2015-04-17. William Moulton Ingraham, Assistant Secretary of War under President Wilson and a former Mayor of this city, died today at his home after a brief illness. He was 80 years old. ...
  11. ^ Time: "Crowell's Conspiracy," Oct. 15, 1923
  12. ^ Time magazine
  13. ^ "W. R. Williams Dies. Cabinet Aide In 1920. Assistant Secretary of War in the Wilson Administration. Was 65 Years Old". New York Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 2015-04-20. William Reid Williams, Assistant Secretary of War under President Woodrow Wilson and prominently identified with the business and social life of Richmond, died tonight. He was 65 years old
  14. ^ Arlington National Cemetery: Dwight Filley Davis
  15. ^ Time: "Change," October 26, 1925
  16. ^ Time: "The Hoover Week"
  17. ^ Time: "Second to Hurley," 1930
  18. ^ "Frederick Payne, Former U.S. Aide. Assistant Secretary of War for Hoover Dies. Served Springfield Ordnance Unit". New York Times. Associated Press. March 25, 1960. Retrieved 2015-04-19. Frederick Huff Payne, Assistant Secretary of War under former President Herbert Hoover, died today at the home of his son, Groverman. He was 83 years old.
  19. ^ Guide to the Harry Hines Woodring Collection
  20. ^ Time: "Job No. 2"
  21. ^ Time: "New Amphibian"
  22. ^ Time: "Methodists & Businessmen "
  23. ^ Time: "Line-Up"