In enacting this chapter, it is the intent of Congress to provide a comprehensive program for the future security of the United States; to provide for the establishment of integrated policies and procedures for the departments, agencies, and functions of the Government relating to the national security; to provide a Department of Defense, including the three military Departments of the Army, the Navy (including naval aviation and the United States Marine Corps), and the Air Force under the direction, authority, and control of the Secretary of Defense; to provide that each military department shall be separately organized under its own Secretary and shall function under the direction, authority, and control of the Secretary of Defense; to provide for their unified direction under civilian control of the Secretary of Defense but not to merge these departments or services; to provide for the establishment of unified or specified combatant commands, and a clear and direct line of command to such commands; to eliminate unnecessary duplication in the Department of Defense, and particularly in the field of research and engineering by vesting its overall direction and control in the Secretary of Defense; to provide more effective, efficient, and economical administration in the Department of Defense; to provide for the unified strategic direction of the combatant forces, for their operation under unified command, and for their integration into an efficient team of land, naval, and air forces but not to establish a single Chief of Staff over the armed forces nor an overall armed forces general staff.
References in Text
This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original "this legislation", meaning act July 26, 1947, ch. 343, 61 Stat. 495, known as the National Security Act of 1947, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.
Section was formerly classified to section 401 of this title prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.
1958—Pub. L. 85–599 amended section generally, and, among other changes, provided that each military department shall be separately organized, instead of separately administered, under its own Secretary and shall function under the direction, authority, and control of the Secretary of Defense, and inserted provisions relating to establishment of unified or specified combatant commands and for elimination of unnecessary duplication.
1949—Act Aug. 10, 1949, provided that the military departments shall be separately administered but be under the direction of the Secretary of Defense, and that there shall not be a single Chief of Staff over the armed forces nor an armed forces general staff.