U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Joint Staff


  1. Home
  2. Joint Staff

Joint Staff


Alternate Definition
The Joint Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President of the United States on military matters. The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by statute and consists of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), and the Military Service Chiefs from the Army, Navy, Air Force, the Marine Corps, and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, all appointed by the President following Senate confirmation.
At the end of World War II, the need for a formal structure of joint command was apparent and the WWII wartime Joint Chiefs of Staff offered a workable model. The first legislative step was the passage of the National Security Act of 1947 which formally established the Joint Chiefs of Staff and laid the foundation for the series of legislative and executive changes that produced today's defense organization. The most recent major congressional action is the 1986 Department of Defense Reorganization Act, commonly known as the Goldwater-Nichols Act.
General Information

Source: http://www.jcs.mil/
The Joints Staff is organized as follows:


J1 | Manpower and Personnel. Mission: To provide the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff consistently outstanding manpower and personnel advice support, thus ensuring maximum readiness and sustainability of the total force.




  1. Improve communication, understanding and cooperation between the J1 and our customers.
  2. Enhance total force readiness by identifying, analyzing and acting on manpower and personnel issues through the Joint Warfighitng Capabilities Assessment (JWCA)/Joint Monthly Readiness Review (JMRR) process.
  3. Optimize the Joint Staff organization to support the COCOM/CCs and the JCS.
  4. Obtain highly qualified people for the Joint Staff.
  5. Provide highly qualified manpower and personnel support to the staff and other agencies.


J2 | Joint Staff Intelligence. Mission: The Directorate for Intelligence, J-2, supports the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff and Unified Commands. It is the national level focal point for crisis intelligence support to military operations, indications and warning intelligence in DoD, and Unified Command intelligence requirements.


The J-2 coordinates joint intelligence doctrine and architecture, and managed intelligence for joint warfighting assessments. J-2 serves as the Intelligence Community manager for Support to Military operations, and is the Director of the Joint Warfighting Capabilities Assessments for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance under the Joint Requirements Oversight Council.


J3 Operations. Mission: The Director for Operations (DJ-3) assists the Chairman in carrying out responsibilities as the principal military advisor to the President and Secretary of Defense, developing and providing guidance to the combatant commanders and relaying communications between the President and the Secretary of Defense and the combatant commanders regarding current operations and plans.


J4 Logistics. Mission: Integrates logistics planning and execution in support of joint operations to drive joint force readiness. Lead the logistics enterprise, drive joint force readiness and provide the best logistics advice to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to maximize the joint force commander's freedom of action.


J5 | Strategic Plans and Policy. Mission: In response to threats posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to rogue nations and non-state actors, America's strategic focus has undergone a fundamental change. We have shifted from the Cold War's bipolar containment policy to a strategy of engagement where we shape the international environment, respond to crises, and prepare now for an uncertain future. Our National Military Strategy reflects the more ambiguous nature of the worldwide strategic landscape. US Armed Forces must be prepared to protect America's global interests in a world filled with both new opportunities and diverse challenges. To remain effective, we must critically examine future trends and provide a broad range of responsive assessments and recommendations to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


J6 | C4 & Cyber. Mission: The J-6 represents the Joint Warfighter in support of the command, control, communications, and computers/cyber (C4) requirements validation and capability development processes while ensuring joint interoperability. To further this effort, the J-6 promulgates guidance and provides functional expertise to the Chairman in order to shape the joint information environment. Additionally, as the Joint Staff Chief Information Officer (CIO), the J-6 provides business class Information Technology (IT) services and support to the Chairman and the entire Joint Staff.


J7 | Joint Force Development. Mission: Support the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the joint warfighter through joint force development (JFD) in order to advance the operational effectiveness of the current and future joint force. J-7 performs its duties across the spectrum of joint force development by focusing on the following core functions.


J8 | Force Structure, Resources & Assessment. Mission: The Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment Directorate, J-8, was established in response to increased responsibilities and authority placed on the Chairman by the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986. Since then, J-8 has provided resource and force structure analysis and advice to the Chairman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The J-8 Directorate develops capabilities, conducts studies, analysis, and assessments, and evaluates plans, programs, and strategies for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Director, J-8 serves as Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) Secretary and as Chairman of the Joint Capabilities Board (JCB). In these capacities, the Director orchestrates Joint Staff support of the capabilities development process through Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) and oversees the Functional Capabilities Board (FCB) process.