United States Secretary of the Navy

The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer (10 U.S.C. § 5013) and the head (chief executive officer) of the Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States Department of Defense.

Secretary of the Navy
Seal of the Department of the Navy
Flag of the Secretary of the Navy
Incumbent
Carlos Del Toro

since August 9, 2021
Department of the Navy
StyleMister Secretary
The Honorable (formally)
AbbreviationSECNAV
Reports toSecretary of Defense
Deputy Secretary of Defense
AppointerThe President,
with Senate advice and consent
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 8013
Formation18 June 1798; 224 years ago (18 June 1798)
First holderBenjamin Stoddert
Succession3rd in SecDef succession
DeputyThe Under Secretary
(Principal Civilian Deputy)
Chief of Naval Operations
(Navy Advisor and Deputy)
The Commandant
(Marine Corps Advisor and Deputy)
SalaryExecutive Schedule, level II
Websitewww.secnav.navy.mil

By law, the secretary of the Navy must be a civilian at least five years removed from active military service. The secretary is appointed by the president and requires confirmation by the Senate.

The secretary of the Navy was, from its creation in 1798, a member of the president's Cabinet until 1949, when the secretary of the Navy (and the secretaries of the Army and Air Force) were by amendments to the National Security Act of 1947 made subordinate to the secretary of defense.[1]

On August 7, 2021, Carlos Del Toro was confirmed as secretary of the Navy.[2]

From 2001 to 2019, proposals to rename the Department of the Navy to the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps, which would have also renamed the secretary of the Navy to the secretary of the Navy and Marine Corps, were introduced with wide support in the United States Congress, but failed due to the opposition of Senator and former U.S. Navy officer John McCain.[3]


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