Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the leader of the U.S Department of Defense, and controls all of the country's defense forces. The Secretary of Defense is second in command to the President, and thus is sometimes called the "deputy commander in chief" of the military. The Secretary of Defense works with the President to create the National Command Authority, which is the only authority that can authorize the launch of nuclear weapons, and both of them must agree in order to launch a nuclear attack. The Secretary of Defense also has control over the secretaries of all the military departments. He or she is also one of a few people who can appoint court-martials for military trials. Leon Panneta is the current Secretary of Defense, and thus is sixth in the line of presidential succession.