Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act
of 1986 (P.L.
Although the process has received periodic attention over the years, most noticeably in the Goldwater-Nichols DoD Reorganization Act
of 1986, today's PPBE process is often referred to as something synonymous with the federal budget process.
The Goldwater-Nichols DoD Reorganization Act
of 1986, Public Law 99-433, was enacted primarily to improve the ability of U.
military structure, culminating in the influential report titled "Defense Organization: The Need for Change," which led to the Goldwater-Nichols DoD Reorganization Act
of 1986 (PL 99-433).
Today, in large measure due to the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act
of 1986, America's military is truly a joint force, interoperable and moving toward interdependence.
In April 1987 President Reagan ordered the SECDEF to establish a Unified Transportation Command (UTC), a directive made possible in part by the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act
of 1986, which revoked the law prohibiting consolidation of military transportation functions.
The Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act
of 1986 rationalized the military command structure by concentrating operational authority in the regional combatant commands and providing a direct chain of command relationship with the President.
"One of the landmark laws of American history" is how Congressman and later Secretary of Defense Les Aspin described the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act
. Speaking as the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in 1986, Aspin added, "[This law] is probably the greatest sea change in the history of the American military since the Continental Congress created the Continental Army in 1775." Because he was known for colorful, dramatic assertions, many saw this claim as political overstatement.
Writing as an insider, James Locher presents a fast-paced chronicle of the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act
of 1986--the most important defense legislation since the National Security Act of 1947.