World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Article Id: WHEBN0000364464
Reproduction Date:

Title: Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Paul J. Selva, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, James A. Winnefeld, Jr., List of United States Navy four-star admirals, Peter Pace
Collection: Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Vice Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff
Flag of the Vice Chairman of the JCS
General Paul J. Selva, USAF

since July 31, 2015
U.S. Department of Defense
Member of Defense Acquisition Board
Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Requirements Oversight Council
Reports to The President
Secretary of Defense
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Seat The Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.
Appointer The President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length 2 years
Constituting instrument 10 U.S.C. § 154
Precursor None
Formation February 6, 1987
First holder Robert T. Herres
Deputy Director of the Joint Staff
Website Official Website

The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VJCS) is, by U.S. law, the second highest-ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces [1] ranking just below the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Vice Chairman outranks all respective heads of each service branch, with the exception of the Chairman, but does not have operational command authority over their service branches.[1] The Goldwater–Nichols Act of 1986 created the position of VJCS to assist the Chairman in exercising his duties. In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman presides over the meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all other duties prescribed under 10 U.S.C. § 153 and may also perform other duties that the President, the Chairman, or the Secretary of Defense prescribes.[1]


  • Responsibilities 1
  • List of Vice Chairmen 2
  • Vice Chairman by Branch of Service 3
  • Positional Color 4
  • See also 5
  • Notes 6
  • External links 7


Although the office of Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is considered to be very important and highly prestigious, neither the Vice Chairman nor the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a body have any command authority over combatant forces. The chain of command runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense directly to the commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands.[2] The Vice Chairman is nominated by the President for appointment and must be confirmed via majority vote by the Senate.[1] The Chairman and Vice Chairman may not be members of the same armed force service branch.[1] However, the President may waive that restriction for a limited period of time in order to provide for the orderly transition of officers appointed to serve in those positions.[1] The Vice Chairman serves a two-year term of office at the pleasure of the President,[1] but can be reappointed to serve two additional terms for a total of six years.[1] In case of times of war or national emergency, there is no limit to how many times an officer can be reappointed to serve as Vice Chairman.[1] Historically, the Vice Chairman has served two terms. By statute, the Vice Chairman is appointed as a four-star general or admiral.[1]

List of Vice Chairmen

Name Photo Branch Term began Term ended
1. Gen Robert T. Herres USAF February 6, 1987 February 28, 1990
2. ADM David E. Jeremiah USN March 1, 1990 February 28, 1994
3. ADM William "Bill" Owens USN March 1, 1994 February 27, 1996
4. Gen Joseph Ralston USAF March 1, 1996 February 29, 2000
5. Gen Richard Myers USAF February 29, 2000 October 1, 2001
6. Gen Peter Pace USMC October 1, 2001 August 12, 2005
7. ADM Edmund Giambastiani USN August 12, 2005 July 27, 2007
8. Gen James E. Cartwright USMC August 31, 2007 August 3, 2011
9. ADM James A. Winnefeld, Jr. USN August 4, 2011 July 31, 2015
10. Gen Paul J. Selva USAF July 31, 2015 Incumbent
- Later served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
- Served as acting Chairman

Vice Chairman by Branch of Service

  • Air Force - 4
  • Army - none
  • Marine Corps - 2
  • Navy - 4

Positional Color

VJCS flag with yellow fringe.

The positional color (flag) of the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is white with a diagonal medium blue strip from upper hoist to lower fly. Centered on the flag is an American bald eagle with wings spread horizontally, in proper colors. The talons grasp three crossed arrows. A shield with blue chief and thirteen red and white stripes is on the eagle’s breast. Diagonally, from upper fly to lower hoist are four five-pointed stars, medium blue on the white, two above the eagle, and two below. The fringe is yellow; the cord and tassels are medium blue and white. The design was approved by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger on 20 January 1987.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j [3] 10 USC 154. Vice Chairman
  2. ^ [4] 10 USC 162. Combatant commands: assigned forces; chain of command
  3. ^ Army Regulation 840-10, paragraph 3-14 (2 Apr. 1992).

External links

  • Official site
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.