United States Deputy Secretary of Defense

The deputy secretary of defense (acronym: DepSecDef) is a statutory office (10 U.S.C. § 132) and the second-highest-ranking official in the Department of Defense of the United States of America.

United States Deputy Secretary of Defense
Seal of the Department
Flag of the Deputy Secretary
Kathleen Hicks

since February 8, 2021
United States Department of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
StyleMadam Deputy Secretary
The Honorable (formal)
StatusChief Operating Officer
Reports toSecretary of Defense
SeatThe Pentagon, Arlington County, Virginia
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 132
First holderStephen Early[1]
May 2, 1949
Succession1st in SecDef succession
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level II[2]

The deputy secretary is the principal civilian deputy to the secretary of defense, and is appointed by the president, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The deputy secretary, by statute, is designated as the DoD chief management officer and must be a civilian, at least seven years removed from service as a commissioned officer on active-duty at the date of appointment.[3]

The current deputy secretary of defense is Kathleen Hicks, effective February 8, 2021. Hicks is the first woman to serve in this role.

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