Who appoints the United States Secretary of Defense?


Quick Answer

The President of the United States appoints the United States Secretary of Defense with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate. The Senate provides its consent after conducting a confirmation hearing and holding a vote.

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Full Answer

The Secretary of Defense is a member of the President's Cabinet. The Secretary also sits on the National Security Council.

In the United States, civilians control the military, and as a result, the Secretary of Defense must be a civilian. A retired member of the military may serve in this position, provided that seven years have passed since the individual was in active military service.

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