Goldwater–Nichols Act

Goldwater–Nichols Act

The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 Pub.L. 99-433, (signed by President Ronald Reagan), made the most sweeping changes to the United States Department of Defense since the department was established in the National Security Act of 1947 by reworking the command structure of the United States military. It increased the powers of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and implemented some of the suggestions from The Packard Commission, commissioned by President Ronald Reagan in 1985. Among other changes, Goldwater-Nichols streamlined the military chain of command, which now runs from the President through the Secretary of Defense directly to unified combatant commanders (CCDRs), bypassing the service chiefs. The service chiefs were assigned to an advisory role to the President and the Secretary of Defense as well as given the responsibility for training and equipping personnel for the unified combatant commands.

Named after Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Arizona) and Representative William Flynt "Bill" Nichols (D-Alabama), the bill passed the House of Representatives, 383-27, and the Senate, 95-0. It was signed into law by President Reagan on October 1, 1986. Admiral William J. Crowe was the first Chairman to serve under this new legislation.

Read more about Goldwater–Nichols ActHistory, Effects, Changes Since 1986

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