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    SECNAVINST 5400.15D states "There will be no more than one level of supervision between the PM and ASN (RD&A)". Where does this requirement come from? Is it statutory or policy? I've been told it comes from Goldwater-Nichols Act, is that true and can you direct me to the section that says that? Is it is some USC Title 10 code or NDAA? We are looking at restructuring an organization where we may want to insert a management level between ASN RDA and the PEOs and their PMs and need to know if this breaks law or just policy.


    The Goldwater–Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act mandated a restructuring of the Department of Defense and directed each secretary to establish or designate a single office or other entity within each department to conduct the acquisition function.  The specific U.S. Navy related verbiage is:

    "(c)(1) The Office of the Secretary of the Navy shall have sole responsibility within the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Headquarters, Marine Corps, for the following functions: "(A) Acquisition. "(B) Auditing. "(C) Comptroller (including financial management). "(D) Information management. "(E) Inspector General. ' "(F) Legislative affairs. "(G) Public affairs. "(2) The Secretary of the Navy shall establish or designate a single office or other entity within the Office of the Secretary of the Navy to conduct each function specified in paragraph (1). No office or other entity may be established or designated within the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations or the Headquarters, Marine Corps, to conduct any of the functions specified in paragraph (1).

    To amplify and implement the recommendations of the Goldwater-Nichols Act, President Ronald Reagan signed the National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 219 on 1 April, 1986 which established the acquisition chain of command.  The verbiage is as follows:

    "Within 60 days of the date of this directive, in anticipation of enactment of legislation to establish the position of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, the Secretary of Defense will direct the Secretaries of the Military Departments to prepare Military Department Directives establishing Service Acquisition Executives. The Service Acquisition Executives, acting for the Service Secretaries, will appoint Program Executive Officers (PEO) who will be responsible for a reasonable and defined number of acquisition programs. Program managers for these programs would be responsible directly to their respective PEO and report only to him on program matters. Thus, no program manager would have more than one level of supervision between himself and his Service Acquisition Executive, and no more than two levels between himself and the Department of Defense Acquisition Executive. Each Service should retain flexibility to shorten 5 this reporting chain even further, as it sees fit. By this means, DOD should substantially reduce the number of acquisition personnel."

    A copy of the NSDD 219 can be found here:

    nsdd219.pdf (

    Presidential Directives remain in effect until revoked.  This directive is currently in effect, thus your reorganization plan would violate this Presidential Directive.

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