What type of person finds themselves in a non-Military, Cabinet-level position? Why do they take it and what do they do all day?

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What type of person finds themselves in a non-Military, Cabinet-level position? Why do they take it and what do they do all day?

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People accept Cabinet appointments for the same reason people take any other job: a desire to do the job, a belief that it will advance their career, etc. At that level, most of the work is directive in nature. The Secretaries are responsible for establishing policy for their departments, identifying priorities, and making various decisions. Most of the detailed work is done by their subordinate staffs based on guidance and later feedback from the Secretary, who then makes the final decision.

First of all, there is only 1 direct military cabinet role– the Secretary of Defense, who is the top person in the military (below the president) and runs the department of defense. This is generally NOT headed up by a military person, although the person who takes this role may have served in the military in the past in some capacity, but thats not mandatory, and only very rarely does an acting military member leave the military to take the role– usually it is a civilian (such as a senator, a former military general, or a current high ranking civilian in the military structure, such as the secretary of the Army or national security advisors and such). There is also the Secretary of Veteran Affairs, which runs the VA department, but thats not really direct military.

As for the other roles — most are HIGHLY prestigious and set you up to do big things or transition to another role–like running for Senate, house, governor or even president, although for others, a cabinet level position may be the culmination of their government career instead

The roles do what their role is, its actually not that odd – for example the Secretary of Transportation runs, the Department of Transportation — working on a lot of US transportation rules and infrastructure. The Department of Education deals with the federal governments roles in education. And so on.

The most prestigious of the roles is the Secretary of State — basically the person in charge of the US’s foreign policy and international relations and the head diplomat. This role is often given to a highly experienced person, usually a former politician or other person of high regard or note– when a president gets elected and gets to appoint a new secretary of state, that’s the prize position of anyone in his party to get.