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1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983
996 1,017 1,039 1,077 1,122
164 191 172 184 207 202 211 243 252 251 257 449 480 468 453 544 719 733 750 805 862 877 782 754 765 778 729 706 641 619 612 632 633 676 719 752
151 184 177 192 190 188 183 187 173 175 199 303 311 317 385 403 417 426 453 470 486 441 383 370 379 356 342 344 303 278 270 257 261 271 274 283
365 441 449 500 515 511 521 497 485 497 527 897 946
971 1,030 1,176 1,590 1,627 1,691 1,808 1,924 2,012 1,708 1,642 1,684 1,664 1,576 1,485 1,352 1,277 1,246 1,253 1,278 1,310 1,351 1,405
Dates for the years 1948-1976 are as of June 30 each year; dates for the years 1977-1982 are as of September 30; and the date for 1983 is as of December 31. 2
Subset of Military Personnel category
Table 4-1 also makes it clear that most of the growth in the OJCS staff has occurred through the addition of military personnel rather than civil servants. In the early years of the OJCS, the number of civilian personnel assigned to it lagged behind the number of military personnel by a relatively small amount. However, by 1960, there were more than twice as many military as civilians in the OJCS; by the end of 1963, this disparity had grown to nearly four to one. In other words, the growth in the size of the OJCS staff cannot be attributed to increasing civilian involvement in its work. Instead, Table 4-1 would suggest that, if anything, civilian influence in the OJCS has declined since its early history.
2. Increasing Organizational Complexity of the OJCS
As it has grown in size, the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has also developed a complicated structure of units and functions. Just as the size of the OJCS reached a peak around 1968, so also did its complexity. Since then, however, the structure has been somewhat streamlined; nonetheless, it still includes many units and performs many functions that were not necessarily envisioned in its early history.
A staff organization to support the new Joint Chiefs of Staff took shape piece by piece during 1942. Reflecting the informal nature of the JCS itself, the staff consisted of inter-Service committees composed of Service staff officers on part-time assignment to the JCS. Only a relatively small number of officers served full-time on the JCS staff.
After World War II, the system of part-time inter-Service committees continued without fundamental change until 1958. That year, President Eisenhower redirected the chain of operational command to run from the Secretary of Defense directly to the unified commands rather than through the Military Departments. To implement this change, the President informed the Congress that "the Joint Staff must be further unified and strengthened in order to provide the operational and planning assistance heretofore largely furnished by the staffs of the military departments.” (A Concise History of the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1942–1979; JCS Historical Division, page 47)
Because he found the existing JCS staff system “laborious”, President Eisenhower directed Secretary of Defense McElroy to discontinue the JCS committee system and to add "an integrated operations division”. (Concise History of the OJCS, page 47) The Joint Staff that emerged from this reorganization consisted of the numbered J-Directorates of a conventional military staff: J-1 (Personnel), J-2 (Intelligence), J-3 (Operations), J-4 (Logistics), J-5 (Plans and Policy), and J-6 (Communications—Electronics). This structure was designed to make it easier for the Joint Staff to work with the similar staff structure of the unified and specified commands. During the year following the 1958 reorganization, the growth in the size of the OJCS staff
accelerated as the institution assumed its enhanced operational responsibilities.
During the 1960's, agencies and groups proliferated within the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Joint Command and Control Requirements Group, the Joint War Games Agency, and Special Assistants for Disarmament Affairs, for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities, for Strategic Mobility, and for Environmental Services were among the new offices created in the 1960's often in response to the pressures of the Vietnam War.
So many new staff units had been established by the late 1960's that there was an effort to streamline the OJCS staff by consolidating groups and agencies under the J-Directorates. This countertrend continued during the 1970's in response to the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Defense Panel and budget pressures for reduced defense spending.
Despite the consolidation that took place during the 1970's, the JCS staff remains a much more elaborate and complicated organization than the one that operated during World War II and in the immediate post-war era. Like other elements of the Defense Department, the evolving structure of the OJCS has reflected the dramatic growth in the complexity of warfare since World War II.
3. Consolidation of the Position of the JCS
Since its creation in early 1942, the institution of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has consolidated its position in both the law and in the national security policymaking apparatus. By 1961, this process of consolidation had progressed to the point that Paul Hammond could describe the JCS as "the kingpin of the unification structure" in his book, Organizing for Defense (page 159).
The previous section described the highly informal way in which the Joint Chiefs of Staff was created shortly after the United States entered World War II. To facilitate cooperation with the British Chiefs of Staff, the JCS "simply sprang into being as a group of American opposite numbers composed, coincidentally, of the three senior members of the old Joint Board”. (Lawrence J. Legere, Jr., Unification of the Armed Forces, page 259) Even after its spontaneous formation, the JCS continued to function without a formal charter and without the specific approval of Congress. Legere concludes about the JCS that it would be difficult to imagine anything less the result of considered study of organizational problems”. (pages 259–260)
Although it lacked a formal charter, the Joint Chiefs of Staff enjoyed a great deal of authority and prestige in the strategic direction of the American war effort. The stature of the Chiefs themselves (Admiral Leahy, General Marshall, Admiral King, and General Arnold) and their close working relationship with President Roosevelt enabled the JCS to become "next to the President, the single most important force in the overall conduct of the war...' (Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State, page 318)
After World War II, the extraordinary status achieved by the wartime Joint Chiefs of Staff inevitably suffered. In the absence of wartime pressures, the JCS institution was forced to consolidate its position within a national security establishment that was taking on a shape very different from the one that existed during World War II. Although the 1947 National Security Act finally provided the JCS with a statutory charter, it also subjected it for the first time to the loose control of a newly created Secretary of Defense. In addition, the Service Secretaries reasserted their statutory authority over the individual Chiefs.
Within these new limitations on its authority, the JCS gradually developed a distinctive role for itself in the emerging Department of Defense. During their first 2 years under the 1947 Act, the Joint Chiefs of Staff negotiated with Secretary of Defense Forrestal the so-called "Key West Agreement on the Services' roles and missions. Then, in the National Security Act Amendments of 1949, the new position of JCS Chairman was created and the statutory ceiling on the size of the Joint Staff was raised from 100 to 210 officers.
This process of consolidation was interrupted in 1953 when President Eisenhower removed the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the "executive agent” system of command and re-routed the chain of command through the Military Departments. However, as was explained earlier in this section, he discarded this cumbersome system 5 years later. Again, the JCS assumed a corporate role in the operational chain of command that has continued to the present.
Once the 1958 reorganization was implemented, the JCS institution had essentially completed the consolidation of its position within the Defense Department. During the 16 years that had elapsed since its highly informal emergence in 1942, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had firmly established itself both in law and in practice as a distinct and somewhat exclusive organization with a broad range of responsibilities. C. CURRENT ORGANIZATION AND STAFFING PROCEDURES
OF OJCS The first section of this chapter noted that the statutory responsibilities of the JCS have not changed significantly since they were initially established by the National Security Act of 1947. They can be distilled into two basic functions: (1) to provide military advice to the President, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense; and (2) to plan for the employment of U.S. forces in contingencies. A third basic function to support and oversee the execution of contingency plans and other military operations by the combatant commands -has evolved from the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1958. The DoD Directive issued to implement that legislation specified that "the chain of command runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense and through the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the commanders of unified and specified commands. Orders to such commanders will be issued by the President or the Secretary of Defense, or by the Joint Chiefs of Staff by authority and direction of the Secretary of Defense.” (emphasis added) (Revision to Department of Defense Directive 5100.1, “Functions of the Department of Defense and its Major Components”, December 31, 1958)
The first two JCS responsibilities, to advise and to plan, are relatively well known and understood. However, the third function has often been misinterpreted to mean that the Joint Chiefs of Staff are actually in the chain of command for military operations. Instead, the role of the JCS is to transmit orders from the President or the Secretary of Defense to the unified and specified commands. The JCS itself cannot initiate operational orders; it can only communicate them. In the "execution of the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) and other time-sensitive operations”, however, the Chairman is authorized by another DoD Directive to represent the JCS in transmitting orders to the unified and specified commands. (Department of Defense Directive 5100.3, "World-Wide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS)”, December 2, 1971) The confused role of the JCS in the chain of command is addressed in detail in Chapter 5 dealing with the unified and specified commands.
The military advice and plans of the JCS are requested most often by three organizations: the National Security Council, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the unified and specified commands. These “customers” constantly ask the JCS for its views on a variety of specific national security issues. At the same time, they receive a stream of plans and studies which the JCS generates on a regular cycle.
The JCS actually constitutes only one element in the larger Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In addition to the JCS itself, the OJCS consists of the Office of the JCS Chairman, the Joint Staff, and certain supporting agencies and special offices. Charts 41 and 4-2 provide a graphic depiction of the OJCS. At the end of 1983, about 1,400 people worked in the OJCS (of which 400 officers serve on the Joint Staff). Slightly more than one-half of these 1,400 people were officers; the remainder were enlisted personnel and civilians. Officer billets are equally divided among the three Military Departments with the Marine Corps assigned about 20 percent of the spaces allocated to the Department of the Navy.