The United States Cabinet (usually referred to as the U.S. President's Cabinet or simplified as the Cabinet) is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. Its existence dates back to the first American President, George Washington, who appointed a Cabinet of four people (Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson; Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton; Secretary of War Henry Knox; and Attorney General Edmund Randolph) to advise and assist him in his duties. Cabinet officers are nominated by the President and then presented to the United States Senate for confirmation or rejection by a simple majority. If approved, they are sworn in and begin their duties. Aside from the Attorney General, and previously, the Postmaster General, they all receive the title Secretary. Members of the Cabinet serve at the pleasure of the President, which means the President may remove them at will.
Former Cabinet departments:
- Department of Defense. Department of War (1789–1949): subsumed into new
- Department of the Navy (1798–1947): subsumed into new Department of Defense.
- Post Office Department (1829–1971), headed by the Postmaster General: reorganized as the United States Postal Service, an independent executive agency.
Renamed Cabinet offices:
- Secretary of Foreign Affairs: created in July 1789 and renamed Secretary of State in September 1789
- Secretary of Commerce and Labor: created in 1903 and renamed Secretary of Commerce in 1913 when its labor functions were transferred to the new Secretary of Labor.
- Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare: created in 1953 and renamed Secretary of Health and Human Services in 1979 when its education functions were transferred to the new Secretary of Education.
Cabinet departments today:
- Department of State
- Department of the Treasury
- Department of Defense
- Department of Justice
- Department of the Interior
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Labor
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Transportation
- Department of Energy
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Department of Homeland Security