For those not in the know, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the highest-ranking officer in the United States Armed Forces. In this position, they serve as chief military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and Homeland Security Council, but (as of the Goldwater-Nichols Act) does not have operational command authority of armed forces.
As the top uniformed member of the US Armed Forces, the CJCS has a heavy hand in military policy and decision-making, and thus contributes a lot to conflicts and peacetime administration of the Armed Forces and Department of Defense, serving as a leading representative for both.
Therefore, I'd like to know your thoughts on who are your top 3-5 most effective Chairmen with brief reasons why and what conflicts they helped manage. They are to be judged based on their performance as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, not beforehand or afterwards.
The current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is US Army GEN Mark A. Milley, the former Army Chief of Staff succeeding Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford in 2019.
- FADM William D. Leahy
- GA Omar Bradley
- ADM Arthur W. Radford
- GEN Maxwell D. Taylor
- GEN Earle Wheeler
- ADM William J. Crowe
- GEN Colin Powell
- GEN Martin Dempsey
I will be doing similar topics on the Army Chief of Staff, Chief of Naval Operations, Air Force Chief of Staff, Commandant of the Marine Corps and Secretary of Defense soon, so stay tuned!