2. Mobilization Authority of the Secretaries of the Military Departments.
The SECDEF is the primary advisor on defense matters and exercises authority and
control over all military departments.
The Secretary of a Military Department, by authority granted in Title 10 USC 672(b) can,
without the consent of a person affected, order any unit, and any member not assigned to
a RC unit, to active duty for not more than 15 days a year. Members of the Army
National Guard or the Air National Guard may not be ordered to active duty under this
subsection without the consent of the Governors of the State or of Puerto Rico, or the
commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, or the commanding
generals, Territory of Guam or the Virgin Islands.
3. Legal Authorities.
a. Mobilization planning must provide a range of options for implementation prior
to declaration of war or national emergency as well as after. Government officials,
from the President and Congress on down, cannot make mobilization decisions on
their own in a void. There are a number of emergency authorities, which authorize
Federal officials to take certain actions during times of war, national emergency,
or other circumstances deemed sufficiently critical to warrant the exercise of such
extraordinary authority. Emergency authority is based on U.S. Code and Public
Law, or upon Executive Orders, Federal Regulations, departmental regulations,
and interagency agreements, which may implement or be derived from U.S. Code
and Public Law. There are many different stages and ranges of action in moving a
nation from peacetime through crisis to war.
b. Existing legal authorities for mobilization actions can be categorized as being
available in peacetime, available after a Presidential or Congressional declaration
of national emergency, or available in time of war. In addition, standby legal
authorities can and should be prepared during peacetime for enactment as needed
during a period of rising tensions, national emergency or war.
c. Some statutes permit actions, which do not require a declaration of national
emergency or a wartime situation. These may be invoked by the President or, in
some cases, a department head and are available in peacetime as well as in a
period of rising tension. Examples of such authorities are the President's ability to
order to active duty up to 200,000 members of the Selected Reserve for a period
of up to 90 plus 90 days without a declaration of national emergency, to recall
retired members of the Regular Army or Air Force, to extend the jurisdiction of
the Federal Aviation Administration, to require priority performance on contracts,
and to guarantee loans to defense contractors.
d. A national emergency can be declared by the President, the Congress or both.
In the past the declaration of national emergency was a major event, a decisive
turning point, before which no preparatory actions were taken and after which
everything possible to prepare for war was done. However, since the National
Emergencies Act (50 USC 1602-1651) was passed in 1976, the declaration of a