|Secretary of the Navy|
|Department of the Navy|
The Honorable (formally)
|Reports to||Secretary of Defense|
Deputy Secretary of Defense
with Senate advice and consent
|Constituting instrument||10 U.S.C. § 8013|
|Formation||18 June 1798|
|First holder||Benjamin Stoddert|
|Succession||3rd in SecDef succession|
|Deputy||The Under Secretary|
(Principal Civilian Deputy)
Chief of Naval Operations
(Navy Advisor and Deputy)
(Marine Corps Advisor and Deputy)
|Salary||Executive Schedule, level II|
The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer (10 U.S.C. § 5013) and the head (chief executive officer) of the Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States Department of Defense.
By law, the secretary of the Navy must be a civilian at least five years removed from active military service. The secretary is appointed by the president and requires confirmation by the Senate.
The secretary of the Navy was, from its creation in 1798, a member of the president's Cabinet until 1949, when the secretary of the Navy (and the secretaries of the Army and Air Force) were by amendments to the National Security Act of 1947 made subordinate to the secretary of defense.
On August 7, 2021, Carlos Del Toro was confirmed as secretary of the Navy.
From 2001 to 2019, proposals to rename the Department of the Navy to the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps, which would have also renamed the secretary of the Navy to the secretary of the Navy and Marine Corps, were introduced with wide support in the United States Congress, but failed due to the opposition of Senator and former U.S. Navy officer John McCain.
The Department of the Navy (DoN) consists of two Uniformed Services: the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps. The secretary of the Navy is responsible for, and has statutory authority (10 U.S.C. § 5013) to "conduct all the affairs of the Department of the Navy", i.e. as its chief executive officer, subject to the limits of the law, and the directions of the president and the secretary of defense. In effect, all authority within the Navy and Marine Corps, unless specifically exempted by law, is derivative of the authority vested in the secretary of the Navy.
Specifically enumerated responsibilities of the SECNAV in the before-mentioned section are: recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping, training, mobilizing, and demobilizing. The secretary also oversees the construction, outfitting, and repair of naval ships, equipment, and facilities. SECNAV is responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies and programs that are consistent with the national security policies and objectives established by the president or the secretary of defense.
The secretary of the Navy is a member of the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB), chaired by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Furthermore, the secretary has several statutory responsibilities under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) with respect to the administration of the military justice system for the Navy & the Marine Corps, including the authority to convene general courts-martial and to commute sentences.
The principal military advisers to the SECNAV are the two service chiefs of the naval services: for matters regarding the Navy the chief of naval operations (CNO), and for matters regarding the Marine Corps the commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC). The CNO and the Commandant act as the principal executive agents of the SECNAV within their respective services to implement the orders of the secretary.
The United States Navy Regulations is the principal regulatory document of the Department of the Navy, and all changes to it must be approved by the secretary of the Navy.
Whenever the United States Coast Guard operates as a service within the Department of the Navy, the secretary of the Navy has the same powers and duties with respect to the Coast Guard as the secretary of homeland security when the Coast Guard is not operating as a service in the Department of the Navy.
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Navy Undersecretary Dionel M. Aviles will serve as acting Navy secretary effective today. Donald Winter, who was confirmed by the Senate last month, will be sworn in as the 74th secretary of the Navy on Jan. 3.
The 74th Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter, resigned his office today as planned. Winter had agreed to remain in office until March 13, 2009, to ease the transition of the Department of Defense. [...] BJ Penn will be the acting Secretary of the Navy until the Senate confirms a nominee chosen by President Barack Obama.
Ray Mabus, former Mississippi governor and U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was sworn in May 19 as the 75th secretary of the Navy.(Archived by WebCite at WebCite)