Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering

The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, abbreviated USD(R&E) is a senior official of the United States Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) and the office s/he heads are charged with the development and oversight of DoD technology strategy for the DoD. The post (or effectively the same post) has at various times had the titles Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)), or Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E). The latter title has itself historically varied between the rank of under secretary and that of assistant secretary.

Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
Logo of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
Incumbent
Michael D. Griffin

since 19 February 2018
Office of the Secretary of Defense
Reports toSecretary of Defense
Deputy Secretary of Defense
NominatorThe President
with the advice and consent of the Senate
Term lengthNo fixed term
WebsiteOffice of the Under Secretary

USD(R&E) is the principal staff advisor for research and engineering matters to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense. In this capacity, USD(R&E) serves as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the Department of Defense charged with the development and oversight of DoD technology strategy in concert with the department’s current and future requirements. The goal of USD(R&E) is to extend the capabilities of current war fighting systems, develop breakthrough capabilities, hedge against an uncertain future through a set of scientific and engineering options and counter strategic surprise. USD(R&E) also provides advice and assistance in developing policies for rapid technology transition.

From 1987 until 1 February 2018, ASD(R&E) was subordinate to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. On 1 February 2018, the research and engineering were split into an independent office, with the head position being elevated from an assistant secretary to an under secretary level. The remaining acquisition office became the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S).[1] The current under secretary is Michael D. Griffin, who took office on 15 February 2018, following nomination by President Donald Trump.[2][3]

Organization

Organizations included under the USD(R&E) include the following. As of February 2018, organizational relationships remained to be finalized as the organization was being formed.[1][4] The organizational structure was finalized in July 2018. Agencies marked with an asterisk (*) are not part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.[5]

  • Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering[6]
  • Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Research and Technology
    • Deputy Director for Strategic Technology Protection and Exploitation
      • Defense Microelectronics Activity*
    • Deputy Director for Research, Technology, and Laboratories
    • Defense Technical Information Center*
  • Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Advanced Capabilities
    • Deputy Director for Mission Engineering and Integration
    • Deputy Director for Developmental Test and Evaluation
      • Test Resource Management Center*
  • Strategic Intelligence Analysis Cell
  • Strategic Capabilities Office
  • Defense Innovation Unit
  • Missile Defense Agency*
  • DARPA*

Upon the February 2018 reorganization, the USD(R&E) assumed responsibility for administering the Small Business Innovation Research and Rapid Innovation Fund programs.[4]

History

The National Security Act of 1947 and its 1949 amendments established the Department of Defense, including the establishment of two statutory boards: a Munitions Board, and a Research and Development Board. In June 1953, President Eisenhower’s Reorganization Plan No. 6 abolished the boards as such, and created six new Assistant Secretaries of Defense. Two of these assistant secretary positions—Applications Engineering, and Research and Development—were combined in March 1957 to become the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)).

Under the DoD Reorganization Act of 1958 (PL 85-599, effective 6 August 1958), the position of ASD(R&E) was abolished and replaced by a Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E).

From 19 May 1961, until 15 July 1965, a Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering held the additional title of ASD(R&E), on the theory that this position reported to, in rank, an under secretary—the DDR&E. On 21 October 1977, PL 95-140 made the rank of the DDR&E unambiguous by renaming it to the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)).

The history of Department of Defense management of science and technology up to the 1980s is described at greater length in a report available from the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC).[7]

The Military Retirement Reform Act of 1986 expanded the scope of USD(R&E) position to encompass acquisition and logistics, as well as technology, and it was renamed USD(AT&L). A subordinate position at the assistant secretary level was reestablished with the previous title DDR&E. However, budget control of the technology portfolio was kept by USD(AT&L), diminishing the importance of the DDR&E position subsequently.

On 7 January 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act with several redesignated titles within the Department of Defense. These changes included renaming the DDR&E as, once again, ASD(R&E).[8]

On 1 February 2018, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics was split into two new offices: the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (R&E) and the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S), as a result of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.[1][4]

Office holders

The table below includes both the various names which this position has been named over time, as well as all the holders of those various offices.[9] Acting officers have a beige background.

Name Tenure SecDef(s) Served Under President(s) Served Under
Chairman, Research and Development Board
Vannevar Bush30 September 1947 – 14 October 1948James V. ForrestalHarry Truman
Karl T. Compton15 October 1948 – 14 March 1950James V. Forrestal
Louis A. Johnson
Harry Truman
William Webster15 March 1950 – 31 July 1951Louis A. Johnson
George C. Marshall
Harry Truman
Walter G. Whitman1 August 1951 – 29 June 1953George C. Marshall
Robert A. Lovett
Charles E. Wilson
Harry Truman
Dwight Eisenhower
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Development)
Donald A. Quarles1 September 1953 – 14 August 1955Charles E. WilsonDwight Eisenhower
Clifford C. Furnas1 December 1955 – 15 February 1957Charles E. WilsonDwight Eisenhower
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Applications Engineering)
Frank D. Newbury18 August 1953 – 17 March 1957Charles E. WilsonDwight Eisenhower
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering)
Frank D. Newbury18 March 1957 – 17 May 1957Charles E. WilsonDwight Eisenhower
Paul D. Foote10 September 1957 – 31 October 1958Charles E. Wilson
Neil H. McElroy
Dwight Eisenhower
John H. Rubel (as Deputy DDR&E)19 May 1961 – 15 June 1963Thomas S. Gates
Robert S. McNamara
Dwight Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Eugene G. Fubini (as Deputy DDR&E)3 July 1963 – 15 July 1965Robert S. McNamaraJohn F. Kennedy
Director, Defense Research and Engineering
Herbert F. York30 December 1958 – 30 April 1961Neil H. McElroy
Thomas S. Gates
Robert S. McNamara
Dwight Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Harold Brown8 May 1961 – 30 September 1965Robert S. McNamaraJohn F. Kennedy
John S. Foster, Jr.1 October 1965 – 21 June 1973Robert S. McNamara
Clark M. Clifford
Melvin R. Laird
Elliot L. Richardson
Lyndon Johnson
Richard Nixon
Malcolm R. Currie21 June 1973 – 20 January 1977James R. Schlesinger
Donald H. Rumsfeld
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
William J. Perry11 April 1977 – 21 October 1977Harold BrownJimmy Carter
Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
William J. Perry4 November 1977 – 20 January 1981Harold BrownJimmy Carter
Walter B. Laberge21 January 1981 – 10 March 1981Caspar W. WeinbergerRonald Reagan
James P. Wade, Jr.11 March 1981 – 6 May 1981
Richard D. DeLauer7 May 1981 – 4 November 1984
James P. Wade, Jr.1 December 1981 – 5 July 1985
Donald A. Hicks6 August 1985 – 10 October 1986
Director, Defense Research and Engineering
Robert C. Duncan17 December 1987 – 30 November 1989Frank C. Carlucci III
William H. Taft IV (Acting)
Richard B. Cheney
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Charles M. Herzfeld12 March 1990 – 18 May 1991Richard B. CheneyGeorge H. W. Bush
Victor H. Reis3 December 1991 – 31 May 1993Richard B. Cheney
Leslie Aspin, Jr.
George H. W. Bush
William Clinton
Anita K. Jones1 June 1993 – 23 May 1997Leslie Aspin, Jr.
William J. Perry
William S. Cohen
William Clinton
Hans M. Mark1 July 1998 – 10 May 2001William S. Cohen
Donald H. Rumsfeld
William Clinton
George W. Bush
Ronald M. Sega14 August 2001 – 3 August 2005Donald H. RumsfeldGeorge W. Bush
John J. Young Jr.2 November 2005 – 20 November 2007Donald H. Rumsfeld
Robert M. Gates
George W. Bush
Alan R. Shaffer21 November 2007 – 1 July 2009Robert M. GatesGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Zachary J. Lemnios2 July 2009 – 7 January 2011Robert M. GatesBarack Obama
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering)
Zachary J. Lemnios7 January 2011 – 30 November 2012Leon PanettaBarack Obama
Alan R. Shaffer1 December 2012 – 12 June 2015Leon Panetta
Chuck Hagel
Ashton B. Carter
Stephen P. Welby13 June 2015 – 13 December 2015Ashton B. Carter
Stephen P. Welby14 December 2015 – 20 January 2017
Mary J. Miller20 January 2017 – 1 February 2018James MattisDonald Trump
Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering
Ellen Lord1 February 2018 – 15 February 2018James MattisDonald Trump
Michael D. Griffin19 February 2018[3] - present

References

  1. Mehta, Aaron (2 February 2018). "The Pentagon's acquisition office is gone. Here's what the next 120 days bring". Defense News. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  2. "President Donald J. Trump Announces Key Additions to his Administration". whitehouse.gov. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  3. Tritten, Travis J. "Senate picks up the pace with confirmations of Pentagon chief manager, top Air Force weapons buyer". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  4. "Report to Congress: Restructuring the Department of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Organization and Chief Management Officer Organization" (PDF). 1 August 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  5. Mehta, Aaron (17 July 2018). "Revealed: The new structure for the Pentagon's tech and acquisition offices". Defense News. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  6. Johnnson, Derek B. (5 March 2018). "White House names deputy undersecretary for DOD R&E". FCW. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  7. O'Neil, William D. and Gene H. Porter, “What to Buy? The Role of Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E): Lessons from the 1970s,” IDA Paper P-4675 (Alexandria, Virginia: Institute for Defense Analyses, Jan 2011) http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA549549.
  8. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Archived 26 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  9. "A History of the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering". DoD. 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
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