The Joint Military Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the Ministry of War who act as the chief military advisory body to the Minister of War, the Executive Council, and the Supreme Chancellor on national and galactic security matters and on issues of military policy. Aside from its advisory role to the War Minister and the Executive Council, it does not have operational control over the Armed Forces. Most operational matters are handled directly between the Minister of War and the interstellar Combatant Commanders. Expeditionary operations are handled by the Joint Forces Command; which, while having a seat in the Joint Military Staff, is not operationally controlled by the JMS or its chairperson. The Joint Military Staff is therefore a strictly advisory body. It does, however, play an enormous role in shaping military policy and conducting investigative and inquisitorial maintenance of operational military forces. Its reports are taken as part of the military planning policy passed down from the Executive Council to the Armed Forces.
The composition of the body is defined by law and consists of a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson, the Senior Enlisted Advisor, the Service Chiefs of the six branches of the Armed Forces, and the chiefs of the Joint High Commands. Outside of their Joint Staff obligations, the Service Chiefs otherwise work directly for their respective departmental Secretaries. The Joint High Commanders otherwise report directly to the Minister of War. The Chairperson of the Joint Military Staff is statutorily the highest-ranking military officer and is considered the Principal Military Advisor to the Supreme Chancellor.
Roles and responsibilities
During the Great War, the overlapping areas of responsibility held by the Imperial General Staff, the Combined Chiefs of Staff, and the Allied Command Staff led to administrative and operational chaos. The conduct of the war was slowed by the General Staff's control over operational war plans. After the final victory, and the founding of the Republic, an extensive military reform was crafted by Minister of War Alexander Hamilton George Compton. Under the Military Authorisation Act, the Joint Military Staff was established as the primary advisory body on military matters. It has no operational authority, and the chain of command to regional and joint-service commanders flows directly from the Supreme Chancellor and the Executive Council to the Minister of War, and from the Minister to the Combatant Commands and High Commands. However, in times of emergency, the Supreme Chancellor can bypass the council and ministry levels and directly issue orders to the respective commanders.
The Joint Military Staff's primary responsibility is to ensure the personnel readiness, policy, planning and training of the branches of military service for the operational High Commands to utilize. In this strictly advisory role, the Joint Staff constitutes the highest deliberative body for military policy.
By statute the membership of the Joint Military Staff consists of the Chairperson, the Vice Chair, the Senior Enlisted Advisor, the Army Chief of Staff, the Chief of the Air Staff, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of Space Operations, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Quartermaster General, and the Surgeon General. Subsequent executive decree has mandated the membership of the chiefs of the Joint High Commands.
The current members are:
|Chairperson of the Joint Military Staff||Supreme Marshal Rudolph Lanning||Central Galactic Union Army|
|Vice-Chairperson of the Joint Military Staff||Air Chief Marshal Richard James Clovian||Central Galactic Union Air Force|
|Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairperson||Sergeant Major Joseph Dunnley||Central Galactic Union Army|
|Chief of Staff of the Army||Supreme Marshal John York, Duke of York||Central Galactic Union Army|
|Chief of Space Operations||Supreme Admiral Jerome Khor||Central Galactic Space Forces|
|Chief of Naval Operations||Supreme Admiral James Mountbatten, Duke of Burma||Central Galactic Navy|
|Chief of the Air Staff||Air Supreme Marshal Nestor Telemachus Gordon||Central Galactic Union Air Force|
|Commandant of the Coast Guard||Supreme Admiral Silas Warren Kent||Central Galactic Coast Guard|
|Commandant of the Marine Corps||Supreme Marshal John van Merck||Central Galactic Marine Corps|
|Quartermaster General||Air Grand Marshal Djimon al-Salame||Central Galactic Union Air Force|
|Surgeon General||Grand Admiral Ingrid Henneman-Chambers||Public Health Commissioned Corps|
|High Commander for Joint Forces||Grand Marshal Lenore Yu||Central Galactic Union Army|
|High Commander for the Reserve||Grand Marshal Elizabeth Herzl||Central Galactic Union Army|
|High Commander for Joint Special Operations||Grand Admiral Hector Clinton||Central Galactic Navy|
|High Commander for Strategic Operations||Grand Admiral Shang Jieshi||Central Galactic Space Forces|