The Secretary of the Navy must by law be a civilian, at least 5 years removed from active military service, and is appointed by the President and requires confirmation by a majority vote of the Senate.
Specifically enumerated responsibilities of the SECNAV in beforementioned section are: recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping, training, mobilizing, and demobilizing. The Secretary also oversees the construction, outfitting, and repair of naval ships, equipment and facilities. SECNAV is responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies and programs that are consistent with the national security policies and objectives established by the President or the Secretary of Defense.
The principal military advisers to the SECNAV are the two service chiefs of the naval services: for matters regarding the Navy the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), and for matters regarding the Marine Corps the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC). The CNO and the Commandant act as the principal executive agents of the SECNAV within their respective services to implement the orders of the Secretary.
The Office of the Secretary of the Navy, also known within DoD as the Navy Secretariat or simply just as the Secretariat in a DoN setting, is the immediate headquarters staff that supports the Secretary in discharging his duties. The principal officials of the Secretariat include the Under Secretary of the Navy (the Secretary's principal civilian deputy), the Assistant Secretaries of the Navy (ASN), the General Counsel of the Department of the Navy, the Judge Advocate General of the Navy (JAG), the Naval Inspector General (NIG), the Chief of Legislative Affairs, and the Chief of Naval Research. The Office of the Secretary of the Navy has sole responsibility within the Department of the Navy for acquisition, auditing, financial and information management, legislative affairs, public affairs, research, and development.
^ abcdStaff reporter (2005-12-29). "Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Relinquishes Top Navy Post". American Forces Press Service. Retrieved 2009-05-18. Navy Undersecretary Dionel M. Aviles will serve as acting Navy secretary effective today. Donald Winter, who was confirmed by the Senate last month, will be sworn in as the 74th secretary of the Navy on Jan. 3.
^ abc"Navy Secretary Departs Office" (Press release). United States Department of Defense. 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2009-05-18. The 74th Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter, resigned his office today as planned. Winter had agreed to remain in office until March 13, 2009, to ease the transition of the Department of Defense. [...] BJ Penn will be the acting Secretary of the Navy until the Senate confirms a nominee chosen by President Barack Obama.
^Staff reporter (2005-05-19). "Mabus Sworn in as New Navy Secretary". NNS. Retrieved 2009-05-20. Ray Mabus, former Mississippi governor and U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was sworn in May 19 as the 75th secretary of the Navy. (Archived by WebCite at WebCite)