January 6, 2012
DALLAS (SMU) – Air Force General Craig McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau and a 1974 SMU alumnus, is now a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
President Barack Obama signed legislation Dec. 31 – the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act – that adds the leadership position currently held by McKinley to the Joint Chiefs.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff are the uniformed military leaders who advise the president, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the secretary of defense on military matters. The Joint Chiefs do not have operational command authority.
As National Guard bureau chief, McKinley is the senior uniformed National Guard officer responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, programs and plans affecting more than half a million Army and Air National Guard personnel. He is appointed by the president and serves as principal adviser to the secretary of defense through the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on National Guard matters. He also is the principal adviser to the secretary and chief of staff of the Army, and the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force on all National Guard issues.
General McKinley received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from SMU and graduated from the university’s ROTC program in 1974.
“We are grateful for the efforts the executive and legislative bodies have gone to in placing the chief of the National Guard Bureau on the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” McKinley said through the American Forces Press Service. “We look forward to working alongside the other Joint Chiefs to provide our nation’s senior leaders with a fuller picture of the nonfederalized National Guard as it serves in support of homeland defense and civil support missions.”