In the second to last paragraph under the "Displaying a Menu Using the h:selectOneMenu Tag" section of the "Adding Components to a Page Using HTML Tags" page at http://docs.oracle.com/javaee/6/tutorial/doc/bnarf.html, it indicates that, "If you don't provide a value, the first item in the list is selected by default." However, this is inaccurate. I have tested this out, and it renders as a <select> element with nested <options>. No <option> is marked as selected. If you look at the HTML 4.01 specification under section 17.6.1 at http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/interact/forms.html#h-17.6.1, you will see that it indicates that "If no OPTION element has the selected attribute set, user agent behavior for choosing which option is initially selected is undefined."