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Christine E. Wormuth, Secretary of the Army

Getting to Know Christine E. Wormuth, Secretary of the Army

Christine E. Wormuth is the 25th Secretary of the Army. She was appointed to the role on May 27, 2021, after being chosen by President Biden and approved by the Senate. Wormuth manages the U.S. Army’s budget of $185 billion and makes decisions for almost 1 million soldiers and over 330,000 Army civilians. 


A Look Into Christine Wormuth

Christine Wormuth has extensive experience in national security and foreign policy, having worked in various roles within the Department of Defense, the White House, on Capitol Hill, and in high-ranking think tanks. 

In the Obama Administration, she served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, providing senior advisory on various national security issues. She handled matters such as the campaign against  ISILI, defense relationships with countries worldwide, counterterrorism policy, and cyber policy.

Throughout her career, Ms. Wormuth has contributed to defense issues in various capacities, including as a civil servant, in consulting firms, and as a Senior Fellow at organizations like the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Atlantic Council.


Christine Wormuth at the U.S. Army

Christine Wormuth regularly engages in discussions and conversations to address the priorities of the U.S. Army and its role in addressing geopolitical uncertainties. For example, she sat down with Suzanne Spaulding, Senior Adviser for Homeland Security and Director of the Defending Democratic Institutions Project, to discuss the Army’s priorities and her leadership approach.

Additionally, Secretary Wormuth participates in public dialogues to shed light on the Army’s responsibilities in deterring threats to the U.S. and its allies. She actively addresses the Army’s recruiting challenges and works to attract talented young individuals to join the force. While the Army may not meet its recruiting goal for the fiscal year 2023, Sec. Wormuth remains optimistic about recruiting more soldiers than the previous year.

She suggested exploring opportunities on college campuses, county employment offices, and online platforms like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Monster to diversify recruiting methods. She also highlighted the possibility of professionalizing the Army’s recruiting force similar to specialized recruiters in Fortune 500 companies. 


Career Timeline

Here’s an overview of Christine Wormuth before becoming the 25th Secretary of the Army:


  • Director of International Security and Defense Policy Center at RAND Corporation (Jun 2018–May 2021)
  • Founding Director, Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at The Atlantic Council (May 2017–Jun 2018)
  • Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Jan 2017–Jun 2018)
  • Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense (Jun 2014–Jun 2016); Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans and Forces (August 2012 – June 2014)
  • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Defense at National Security Staff (December 2010–August 2012)
  • Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense at the U.S. Department of Defense (March 2009–December 2010)
  • Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (December 2004–March 2009)
  • Principal at DFI Government Services (April 2002–December 2004)
  • Career Civilian at the U.S. Department of Defense (December 1995–March 2002)




How is the Secretary of the Army chosen?

The President chooses the Secretary of the Army from civilian life with the Senate’s consent. The Secretary is in charge of the Department of the Army. Anyone who used to be on active duty as a commissioned officer can’t be appointed as the Secretary until five years later. 


Who was the first Secretary of the Army?

The first Secretary of the Army was Kenneth Claiborne Royall. He was a lawyer, served as Secretary of War, and became the first Secretary of the Army when President Harry Truman restructured the military under the Department of Defense. In April 1949, Royall resigned and returned to practicing law after expressing his desire to return to private life. 

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