National Security Act of 1947
An Act to promote the national security by providing for a Secretary of Defense; for a National Military Establishment; for a Department of the Army, a Department of the Navy, a Department of the Air Force; and for the coordination of the activities of the National Military Establishment with other departments and agencies of the Government concerned with the national security.
the 80th United States Congress
July 26, 1947
Statutes at Large
61 Stat. 495
50 U.S.C.: War and National Defense
U.S.C. sections created
50 U.S.C. ch. 15 § 401
Introduced in the Senate as S. 758 by John Gurney (R–SD) on March 3, 1947
Signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1947
The National Security Act of 1947 was a major restructuring of the United States government’s military and intelligence agencies following World War II. The majority of the provisions of the Act took effect on September 18, 1947, the day after the Senate confirmed James Forrestal as the first Secretary of Defense.
The Act merged the Department of War (renamed as the Department of the Army) and the Department of the Navy into the National Military Establishment (NME), headed by the Secretary of Defense. It also created the Department of the Air Force, which separated the Army Air Forces into its own service. It also protected the Marine Corps as an independent service, under the Department of the Navy, prohibiting it from ever being absorbed into the Army.
Aside from the military reorganization, the act established the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S.’s first peacetime intelligence agency.
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The National Security Act of 1947 was a major restructuring of the United States government’s military and intelligence agencies following World War II. The act and its changes, along with the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, were major components of the Truman administration’s Cold War strategy. The bill signing took place aboard Truman’s VC-54C presidential aircraft Sacred Cow, the first aircraft used for the role of Air Force One.
The majority of the provisions of the Act took effect on September 18, 1947, the day after