Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (09/12/1986)

(Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 99-824)

Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 - Title I: Department of Defense Generally - Amends Federal armed forces provisions to set forth the organization of the Department of Defense (DOD).

States that DOD contains: (1) the Office of the Secretary of Defense; (2) the Joint Chiefs of Staff; (3) the Joint Staff; (4) the defense agencies; (5) Department of Defense Field Activities; (6) the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; (7) the unified and specified combatant commands; (8) such other offices as may be established or designated by the President; and (9) all functions and activities under the control or supervision of any of the above elements.

Directs the President to notify the Congress within 60 days after establishing or designating an office, agency, activity, or command in the DOD.

Requires the Secretary of Defense (the Secretary) to provide annually to DOD components written policy guidance for the preparation of the components' program and budget proposals.

Requires the Secretary to provide annually to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) written policy guidance for the preparation and review of contingency plans.

Requires the Secretary to inform the Secretaries of the military departments of DOD military operations and activities which directly affect their respective responsibilities.

Modifies the authority of the Secretary to reorganize DOD.

Establishes the Office of the Secretary of Defense to assist the Secretary in carrying out duties and responsibilities. Sets forth the composition of such Office. Allows officers of the armed forces to be detailed or assigned to permanent duty in the Office, but prohibits the Secretary from establishing a military staff in the Office.

Requires the Secretary of each military department to cooperate fully with personnel of such Office.

Provides for an Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, to be appointed from civilian life by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Directs the Under Secretary to assist the Secretary in preparing written policy guidance for the preparation and review of contingency plans, and in reviewing such plans.

Provides for a Director of Defense Research and Engineering, to be appointed from civilian life by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Provides for a Comptroller of DOD to be appointed from civilian life by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Recognizes the appointment and duties of the Inspector General of DOD.

Requires studies of the functions and organization of the Office of the Secretary of Defense by: (1) the Secretary of Defense; (2) the Secretaries of the military departments; (3) the Chairman of JCS; and (4) an independent contractor. Requires the Secretary to report the results to the Congress within one year after enactment of this Act.

Sets forth technical amendments.

Title II: Military Advice and Command Functions - Part A: Joint Chiefs of Staff - Revises Federal provisions relating to the composition and function of the JCS. Includes the following as members in the JCS: (1) the Chairman; (2) the Vice Chairman; (3) the Chiefs of Staff of the Army and of the Air Force; (4) the Chief of Naval Operations; and (5) the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Requires the President, subject to waiver, to assign to JCS only officers who have served in one or more joint duty positions for a substantial period of time.

Provides that the Chairman of JCS shall be the principal military adviser to the President, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense. Requires the Chairman of JCS to: (1) convene regular JCS meetings; and (2) consult with and seek the advice of JCS members and commanders of the unified and specified combatant commands. Authorizes a member of JCS to present advice or an opinion in disagreement or in addition to advice provided by the Chairman.

Sets forth administrative provisions concerning: (1) the appointment and term of the Chairman; (2) the Chairman's presiding over the JCS; and (3) other functions of the Chairman relating to the planning of military manpower, strategy, and readiness capabilities. Requires the Chairman, not less than once every three years or upon request from the President, to report to the Secretary of Defense concerning recommended changes in the function assignments of the armed forces.

Establishes the position of the Vice Chairman of JCS, to exercise such duties as may be delegated by the Chairman with the approval of the Secretary of Defense. Requires the Vice Chairman to act as Chairman of JCS in the event of a vacancy in that position.

Establishes in DOD a Joint Staff under the Chairman of JCS, to assist the Chairman and other members of JCS in their responsibilities. Requires the Joint Staff to include officers selected by the Chairman in approximately equal numbers from the various military departments. Requires the Chairman, no later than one year after the enactment of this Act, to report to the Secretary of Defense concerning recommendations for changes in the function assignments of Joint Staff members.

Authorizes the Chairman (or the Vice-Chairman) of JCS to attend and participate in meetings of the National Security Council (NSC), as principal military adviser to the NSC and subject to the direction of the President.

Part B: Combatant Commands - Adds a new chapter to general military law concerning the operation in the armed forces of combatant commands. Directs the President to establish unified and specified combatant commands to perform military missions and to prescribe the force structure of such commands.

Directs the Chairman of the JCS to periodically (and not less often than every two years): (1) review the missions, responsibilities, and force structure of each combatant command; and (2) recommend to the President, through the Secretary, any necessary changes.

Directs the President to notify the Congress within 60 days after: (1) establishing a new combatant command; or (2) significantly revising the missions, responsibilities, or force structure of an existing combatant command. Requires all combatant forces of the military departments to be assigned to combatant commands.

Provides that the operational chain of command for combatant commands shall run from the President to the Secretary of Defense to the commanders of the combatant commands. Allows the President to utilize the Chairman of JCS in the operational chain of command at his discretion. Requires the Chairman of JCS to serve as spokesman for the combatant commanders concerning operational requirements.

Outlines provisions concerning assignment by the President of combatant commanders. Requires any commander so assigned to have previously served in one or more joint duty positions for a substantial period of time. Outlines administrative provisions concerning the operational chain of command within each unified or specified combatant command.

Requires the Secretary of Defense to provide for the administration and support of combatant forces assigned to each combatant command. Provides that the Secretary of each military department is responsible for the administration and support of forces assigned by him to a combatant command.

Directs the Secretary to include in the annual budget of the Department of Defense (DOD) a separate budget proposal for activities of each of the unified and specified combatant commands. Outlines information concerning activities of such combatant commands to be included in such proposals.

Lists matters to be considered in the initial review of combatant commands.

Repeals the prohibition against consolidating certain functions of the military transportation commands, as contained in the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1983.

Repeals the prohibition against altering the command structure for military forces in Alaska, as contained in the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1986.

Authorizes the President to waive certain qualifications for assignment as combatant commander.

Title III: Defense agencies and Department of Defense Field Activities - Authorizes the Secretary to provide for the performance of a supply or service activity that is common to more than one military department by a single agency of DOD, upon determination that such action would be more effective, economical, or efficient. Provides that such single agency shall be designated as a defense agency or a DOD Field Activity. Directs the Secretary to assign overall supervision of such designated entities to a civilian officer in the Office of the Secretary or to the Chairman of the JCS.

Requires the Chairman of the JCS to review and advise the Secretary on the readiness of certain defense agencies to carry out their wartime support missions.

Requires the Chairman of the JCS to provide for the participation of certain defense agencies in joint training exercises.

Requires the Chairman of the JCS to develop a readiness reporting system for certain defense agencies.

Directs the Secretary, the Chairman of the JCS, and the Secretaries of the military departments to conduct separate studies of the functions and organizational structure of the defense agencies and Field Activities. Directs the Secretary to undertake a biennial review of the defense agencies and Field Activities.

Reduces the number of headquarters and non-headquarters personnel serving in the defense agencies and Field Activities.

Title IV: Joint Officer Personnel Policy - Establishes joint officer management policies. Establishes an occupational category, the "joint specialty," for the management of officers who are trained in and oriented to joint matters. Provides that joint specialty officers shall be selected by the Secretary from nominees submitted by the Secretaries of the military departments. Requires such officers to have completed a joint education program and a full joint duty tour. Requires that one-half of joint duty positions above captain/Navy lieutenant be filled by officers who have been nominated or selected for the joint specialty. Directs the Secretary to designate at least 1,000 critical joint duty assignments that must always be filled by joint specialty officers. Requires the Secretary to establish career guidelines for joint specialty officers. Requires all officers promoted to general or flag rank to attend a CAPSTONE education course on working with the other armed forces. Requires immediate assignment to joint duty for graduates of a joint school.

Sets forth a promotion review process for officers who are serving, or who have served, in joint duty assignments. Requires the Secretary to ensure that the qualifications of officers assigned to joint duty assignments are such that certain promotion rates will be achieved. Prohibits (subject to a waiver by the Secretary) promotion to general or flag rank unless the officer has served in a joint duty assignment. Requires the Chairman of the JCS to evaluate the joint duty performance of officers recommended for three- and four-star rank. Directs the Secretary to advise the President on the qualifications needed by officers to serve in three- and four-star positions.

Title V: Military Departments - Part A: Department of the Army - Revises Federal provisions concerning the organization of the Department of the Army to require that the Secretary of the Army be appointed by the President, with the consent of the Senate. Outlines various administrative functions for which the Secretary shall be responsible.

Establishes in the Department of the Army an Office of the Secretary of the Army to assist the Secretary. Requires the Office of the Secretary of the Army to include the following: (1) the Under Secretary of the Army; (2) the Assistant Secretaries of the Army; (3) the Inspector General of the Army; (4) the Army Reserve Forces Policy Committee; and (5) the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army; (6) the General Counsel of the Department of the Army; and (7) such other offices or officers as the Secretary may designate. Limits the total number of personnel assigned to the Office of the Secretary.

Establishes the position of Under Secretary of the Army and five Assistant Secretaries of the Army (one of which is to be the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs and another the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works).

Establishes the position of Inspector General of the Army, and such deputies and assistants as the Secretary may prescribe.

Establishes the position of General Counsel of the Department of the Army, to be appointed from civilian life by the President.

Establishes in the executive part of the Department of the Army an Army Staff to assist the Secretary. Outlines the composition (including a Chief of Staff and a Vice Chief of Staff) of such Army Staff and limits, except in time of war and certain other times, the total number of personnel assigned to such duty. Outlines various responsibilities of the Chief of Staff.

Limits the number of Deputy Chiefs of Staff to five, and of Assistant Chiefs of Staff to three.

Part B: Department of the Navy - Repeals and transfers current Federal law defining the composition of the Department of the Navy.

Revises provisions concerning the composition of the Department of the Navy to include in such Department the following: (1) the Office of the Secretary of the Navy; (2) the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; (3) the Headquarters, Marine Corps; (4) the entire operating forces of the Navy and Marine Corps; (5) all activities, forces, and functions under the control of the Secretary of the Navy; and (6) the Coast Guard, when it is operating as a service in the Navy.

Provides for a seal for the Department.

Requires that the Secretary of the Navy be appointed by the President, with the consent of the Senate. Outlines various responsibilities of the Secretary. Authorizes the Secretary to make appropriate recommendations to the Congress relating to DOD and to delegate certain powers and duties.

Establishes in the Department of the Navy an Office of the Secretary of the Navy to assist the Secretary. Requires the Office of the Secretary of the Navy to include the following: (1) the Under Secretary of the Navy; (2) the Assistant Secretaries of the Navy; (3) the Naval Inspector General; (4) the Chief of Naval Research; (5) the Judge Advocate General of the Navy; (6) the General Counsel of the Department of the Navy; and (7) such other offices or officers as the Secretary may designate. Requires the Secretary to ensure that there is no duplication of functions within the Department. Limits the total number of personnel assigned to the Office of the Secretary.

Establishes the position of Under Secretary of the Navy and four Assistant Secretaries of the Navy (one of which is to be the Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs). Provides for succession to the position of Secretary of the Navy if a succession is required, consistent with changes made under this Act.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Navy to appoint an Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy.

Establishes the position of General Counsel of the Department of the Navy, to be appointed from civilian life by the President.

Revises Federal provisions concerning the composition and functions of the Chief of Naval Operations to include in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations the following: (1) the Chief and the Vice Chief of Naval Operations; (2) not more than five Deputy Chiefs of Naval Operations; (3) not more than three Assistant Chiefs of Naval Operations; (4) the Surgeon General of the Navy; (5) the Chief of Naval Personnel; (6) the Chief of Chaplains of the Navy; and (7) other members of the Navy and Marine Corps and civilians assigned to such Office. Limits, except in time of war and certain other times, the total number of military and civilian personnel assigned to such Office.

Requires the Office to furnish professional assistance to the Secretary, the Under Secretary, the Assistant Secretaries, and the Chief of Naval Operations.

Revises provisions concerning the Chief of Naval Operations to outline various powers and functions. Requires the Chief, in addition to such specified duties, to also perform duties as a member of JCS. Provides for the retirement of the Chief at the rate of admiral.

Establishes the position of Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

Establishes not more than five Deputy Chiefs of Naval Operations and not more than three Assistant Chiefs of Naval Operations within the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

Revises provisions concerning the organization of the Marine Corps headquarters to establish in the executive part of the Department of the Navy a Headquarters, Marine Corps, to assist the Secretary of the Navy in carrying out responsibilities connected with the Marine Corps. Requires such Headquarters to consist of: (1) the Commandant of the Marine Corps; (2) the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps; (3) the Chief of Staff of the Marine Corps; (4) not more than five Deputy Chiefs of Staff; (5) not more than three Assistant Chiefs of Staff; and (6) other members of the Navy and Marine Corps and civilians assigned to the Headquarters, Marine Corps.

Requires such Headquarters to furnish professional assistance to the Secretary, Under Secretary, the Assistant Secretaries of the Navy, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Outlines specified functions and duties of such Headquarters.

Outlines the functions, powers, and duties of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, who performs such duties under the authority and control of the Secretary of the Navy. Requires the Commandant, in addition to such duties, to also perform the duties required as a member of JCS.

Establishes the position of Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps to perform such duties as prescribed by the Commandant.

Provides that the Secretary of the Navy has custody and charge of all department records and property.

Part C: Department of the Air Force - Revises Federal provisions relating to the composition and functions of the Department of the Air Force to require that the Secretary of the Air Force be appointed by the President, with the consent of the Senate. Outlines various functions within the Department of the Air Force for which the Secretary is responsible. Requires the Secretary, in addition to such specified duties, to also make recommendations to the Congress relating to DOD.

Establishes in the Department of the Air Force an Office of the Secretary of the Air Force to assist the Secretary. Includes in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force the following: (1) the Under Secretary of the Air Force; (2) the Assistant Secretaries of the Air Force; (3) the Inspector General of the Air Force; (4) the Air Reserve Forces Policy Committee; (5) the General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force; and (6) such other offices and officers as the Secretary may designate. Limits the total number of military and civilian personnel assigned to such Office, except in time of war or national emergency.

Establishes the positions of Under Secretary of the Air Force, three Assistant Secretaries of the Air Force (one of which is to be the Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs) and Inspector General of the Air Force, with such deputies and assistants as the Secretary may prescribe.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Air Force to appoint an Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.

Establishes the position of General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force, to be appointed from civilian life by the President.

Revises Federal provisions relating to the composition of the Air Staff of the Air Force to include in such Air Staff the following: (1) the Chief of Staff and Vice Chief of Staff; (2) not more than five Deputy Chiefs of Staff; (3) not more than three Assistant Chiefs of Staff; (4) the Surgeon General of the Air Force; (5) the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force; (6) the Chief of the Air Force Reserve; and (7) other military and civilian employees assigned to the Air Staff. Limits the total number of military and civilian personnel assigned to the Air Staff. Outlines general duties of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who is directly responsible to the Secretary of the Air Force. Requires the Deputy Chiefs of Staff and Assistant Chiefs of Staff to be general officers detailed to such positions.

Part D: General Conforming Amendments and Transition Provisions - Sets forth general conforming amendments and transition provisions.

Title VI: Miscellaneous - Reduces the number of personnel serving on the lower-level headquarters staffs of the military departments and the unified and specified combatant commands.

Reduces the number of defense reports required by the Congress from the President and the DOD.

Requires the President to submit an annual report to the Congress on national security strategy.