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Joint Chiefs of Staff

The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a panel comprising the highest-ranking members of each major branch of the armed services in any particular country. The following information refers to the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States Armed Forces, but similar arrangements are common in other nations.

The current Joint Chiefs of Staff are:

General Peter Pace, Vice Chairman, US Marine Corps
General Pete Schoomaker, Army Chief of Staff, US Army
Admiral Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy
General Michael W. Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps, US Marine Corps
General John P. Jumper, Air Force Chief of Staff, US Air Force

After the 1986 reorganization of the military undertaken by the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the Joint Chiefs of Staff do not have operational command of U.S. military forces. Responsibility for conducting military operations goes directly from the Secretary of Defense to the head of the United States regional commands and the chain of command bypasses the Joint Chiefs of Staff completely.

Rather their primary responsibility is to ensure the readiness of their respective military services. The Joint Chiefs of Staff also act in an advisory military capacity for the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense. In addition, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff acts as the chief military advisor to the President.

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