United States Secretary of War

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The Secretary of War was a member of the President's Cabinet. President George Washington created the position in 1789 when he nominated Henry Knox.


The Secretary of War was the head of the War Department and was responsible for all military affairs. In 1798, the Navy was split out under the Secretary of the Navy. In 1947 the two departments were reunited under the Secretary of Defense. The union also created the positions of Secretary of the Army and Secretary of the Air Force to replace Secretary of War.