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United States Secretary of Defense

The United States Secretary of Defense is the head of the United States Department of Defense concerned with the armed services and military matters. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet.

Secretaries of Defense
Name Term of Office President(s) served under
James V. Forrestal September 17, 1947 - March 28, 1949 Harry S. Truman
Louis A. Johnson March 28, 1949 - September 19, 1950 Harry S. Truman
George C. Marshall September 21, 1950 - September 12, 1951 Harry S. Truman
Robert A. Lovett[?] September 17, 1951 - January 20, 1953 Harry S. Truman
Charles E. Wilson[?] January 28, 1953 - October 8, 1957 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Neil H. McElroy[?] October 9, 1957 - December 1, 1959 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Thomas S. Gates[?] December 2, 1959 - January 20, 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Robert McNamara January 21, 1961 - February 29, 1968 John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson
Clark Clifford March 1, 1968- January 20, 1969 Lyndon Johnson
Melvin Laird January 22, 1969 - January 29, 1973 Richard Nixon
Elliot L. Richardson[?] January 30, 1973 - May 24, 1973 Richard Nixon
James R. Schlesinger[?] July 2, 1973 - November 19, 1975 Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford
Donald H. Rumsfeld (1st time) November 20, 1975 - January 20, 1977 Gerald Ford
Harold Brown[?] January 21, 1977 - January 20, 1981 Jimmy Carter
Caspar W. Weinberger[?] January 21, 1981 - November 23, 1987 Ronald Reagan
Frank C. Carlucci[?] November 23, 1987 - January 20, 1989 Ronald Reagan
Richard B. Cheney March 21, 1989 - January 20, 1993 George H. W. Bush
Les Aspin[?] January 21, 1993 - February 3, 1994 Bill Clinton
William J. Perry February 3, 1994 - January 23, 1997 Bill Clinton
William S. Cohen[?] January 24, 1997 - January 20, 2001 Bill Clinton
Donald H. Rumsfeld (2nd time) January 20, 2001 - present George W. Bush

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