United States Department of Defense "DoD" redirects here. For other uses, see DOD
The United States Department of Defense
) is an executive branch department
of the federal government
charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national security
and the United States Armed Forces
. The DOD is the largest employer in the world,
with over 1.4 million active-duty service members (soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen, and Guardians) as of 2021.
More employees include over 826,000 National Guard and reservists from the armed forces, and over 732,000 civilians
bringing the total to over 2.8 million employees.
Headquartered at the Pentagon
in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., the DoD's stated mission is to provide "the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security".
United States Department of Defense
The Department of Defense is headed by the secretary of defense
, a cabinet-level head who reports directly to the president of the United States
. Beneath the Department of Defense are three subordinate military departments: the Department of the Army
, the Department of the Navy
, and the Department of the Air Force
. In addition, four national intelligence services
are subordinate to the Department of Defense: the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA
), the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA
), and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO
). Other Defense agencies
include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA
), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA
), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA
), the Defense Health Agency (DHA
), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA
), the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA
), the Space Development Agency (SDA
) and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA
), all of which are subordinate to the secretary of defense. Additionally, the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA
) is responsible for administering contracts for the DoD. Military operations are managed by eleven regional or functional Unified combatant commands
. The Department of Defense also operates several joint services schools, including the Eisenhower School
(ES) and the National War College
The War Department and Navy Department
Upon the seating of the 1st U.S. Congress
on 4 March 1789, legislation to create a military defense force stagnated as they focused on other concerns relevant to setting up the new government. President George Washington
went to Congress to remind them of their duty to establish a military twice during this time. Finally, on the last day of the session, 29 September 1789, Congress created the War Department
The War Department handled naval affairs until Congress created the Navy Department
in 1798. The secretaries of each department reported directly to the president as cabinet-level advisors until 1949, when all military departments became subordinate to the Secretary of Defense.
National Military Establishment
President Truman signs the National Security Act Amendment of 1949
After the end of World War II, President Harry Truman
proposed the creation of a unified department of national defense. In a special message to Congress on 19 December 1945, the president cited both wasteful military spending and inter-departmental conflicts. Deliberations in Congress went on for months focusing heavily on the role of the military in society and the threat of granting too much military power to the executive.
Under the Department of Defense Reorganization Act
of 1958 (Pub.L. 85–599
), channels of authority within the department were streamlined while still maintaining the ordinary authority of the Military Departments to organize, train, and equip their associated forces. The Act clarified the overall decision-making authority of the secretary of defense with respect to these subordinate Military Departments and more clearly defined the operational chain of command
over U.S. military forces (created by the military departments) as running from the president to the secretary of defense and then to the unified combatant commanders. Also provided in this legislation was a centralized research authority, the Advanced Research Projects Agency
, eventually known as DARPA
. The act was written and promoted by the Eisenhower administration and was signed into law 6 August 1958.
A day before the September 11 attacks
of 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
announced that the department was unable to account for about $2.3 trillion worth of transactions. Reuters
reported in 2013 that the Pentagon was the only federal agency that had not released annual audits as required by a 1992 law. According to Reuters, the Pentagon "annually reports to Congress that its books are in such disarray that an audit is impossible".
By 2015, the discrepant funds had increased to $6.5 trillion for the army alone.
In June 2016, the Office of the Inspector General
released a report stating that the army made $6.5 trillion in wrongful adjustments to its accounting entries in 2015.
Department of Defense organizational chart (December 2013)
The secretary of defense
, appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate
, is by federal law (10 U.S.C. § 113
) the head of the Department of Defense, "the principal assistant to the President in all matters relating to Department of Defense", and has "authority, direction, and control over the Department of Defense". Because the Constitution
vests all military authority in Congress
and the president, the statutory authority of the secretary of defense is derived from their constitutional authority. Since it is impractical for either Congress or the president to participate in every piece of Department of Defense affairs, the secretary of defense and the secretary's subordinate officials generally exercise military authority.
The Department of Defense is composed of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD
), the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS
) and the Joint Staff (JS
), Office of the Inspector General (DODIG
), the Combatant Commands
, the Military Departments (Department of the Army
(DA), Department of the Navy
(DON) & Department of the Air Force
(DAF)), the Defense Agencies and Department of Defense Field Activities
, the National Guard Bureau
(NGB), and such other offices, agencies, activities, organizations, and commands established or designated by law, or by the president or by the secretary of defense.
Department of Defense Directive 5100.01 describes the organizational relationships within the department, and is the foundational issuance for delineating the major functions of the department. The latest version, signed by former secretary of defense Robert Gates
in December 2010, is the first major re-write since 1987.
Office of the Secretary of Defense
The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is the secretary and his/her deputy's (mainly) civilian staff.
OSD is the principal staff element of the secretary of defense in the exercise of policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal and program evaluation and oversight, and interface and exchange with other U.S. government departments and agencies, foreign governments, and international organizations, through formal and informal processes. OSD also performs oversight and management of the Defense Agencies, Department of Defense Field Activities, and specialized Cross Functional Teams
OSD also supervises the following Defense Agencies:
National intelligence agencies
Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff/Joint Staff organizational chart
The Joint Chiefs of Staff
(JCS) is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the Department of Defense who advise the secretary of defense, the Homeland Security Council
, the National Security Council
and the president on military matters. The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by statute and consists of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
(CJCS), vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
(VCJCS), senior enlisted advisor to the chairman (SEAC), the Military Service chiefs from the Army
, Marine Corps
, Air Force
, and Space Force
, in addition to the chief of National Guard Bureau
, all appointed by the president following Senate
Each of the individual Military Service Chiefs, outside their Joint Chiefs of Staff obligations, works directly for the secretary of the Military Department concerned: the secretary of the Army
, secretary of the Navy
and secretary of the Air Force
Following the Goldwater–Nichols Act
in 1986 the Joint Chiefs of Staff do not have operational command authority, neither individually nor collectively, as the chain of command goes from the president to the secretary of defense, and from the Secretary of Defense to the commanders of the Combatant Commands
Goldwater–Nichols also created the office of vice-chairman, and the chairman is now designated as the principal military adviser
to the secretary of defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and to the president.
There are three Military Departments within the Department of Defense:
- the Department of the Army, within which the United States Army is organized.
- the Department of the Navy, within which the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps are organized.
- the Department of the Air Force, within which the United States Air Force and United States Space Force are organized.
Secretaries of Military Departments and service chiefs do not possess operational command authority over U.S. troops (this power was stripped from them in the Defense Reorganization Act of 1958
), and instead, Military Departments are tasked solely with "the training, provision of equipment, and administration of troops."
Unified Combatant Commands
Combatant command areas of responsibility
A unified combatant command
is a military command composed of personnel/equipment from at least two Military Departments, which has a broad/continuing mission.
These Military Departments are responsible for equipping and training troops to fight, while the Unified Combatant Commands are responsible for military forces' actual operational command.
Almost all operational U.S. forces are under the authority of a Unified Command.
The Unified Commands are governed by a Unified Command Plan—a frequently updated document (produced by the DoD), which lays out the Command's mission, geographical/functional responsibilities, and force structure.
As of 2019 the United States has eleven Combatant Commands, organized either on a geographical basis (known as "area of responsibility
", AOR) or on a global, functional basis:
This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (April 2019)
Defense Spending as a Percent of GDP (1792–2017)
Department of Defense spending in 2017 was 3.15% of GDP and accounted for about 38% of budgeted global military spending
– more than the next 7 largest militaries combined.
By 2019 the 27th secretary of defense had begun a line-by-line review of the defense budget; in 2020 the secretary identified items amounting to $5.7 billion, out of a $106 billion subtotal (the so-called "fourth estate" agencies such as missile defense, and defense intelligence, amounting to 16% of the defense budget),
He will re-deploy to the modernization of hypersonics, artificial intelligence, and missile defense.
Beyond 2021 the 27th secretary of defense is projecting the need for yearly budget increases of 3 to 5 percent to modernize.
The Department of Defense accounts for the majority of federal discretionary spending. In FY 2017 the Department of Defense budgeted spending accounted for 15% of the U.S. federal budget, and 49% of federal discretionary spending
, which represents funds not accounted for by pre-existing obligations. However, this does not include many military-related items that are outside the Defense Department budget, such as nuclear weapons research, maintenance, cleanup, and production, which is in the Department of Energy budget, Veterans Affairs, the Treasury Department's payments in pensions to military retirees and widows and their families, interest on debt incurred in past wars, or State Department financing of foreign arms sales and militarily-related development assistance. Neither does it include defense spending that is not military in nature, such as the Department of Homeland Security, counter-terrorism spending by the FBI, and intelligence-gathering spending by the NSA.
Total United States Defense Outlays 1962–2024, $millions (2019-2024 estimated)
In the 2010 United States federal budget
, the Department of Defense was allocated a base budget of $533.7 billion, with a further $75.5 billion adjustment in respect of 2009, and $130 billion for overseas contingencies.
The subsequent 2010 Department of Defense Financial Report shows the total budgetary resources for fiscal year
2010 were $1.2 trillion.
Of these resources, $1.1 trillion were obligated and $994 billion were disbursed, with the remaining resources relating to multi-year modernization projects requiring additional time to procure.
After over a decade of non-compliance
has established a deadline of Fiscal year
2017 for the Department of Defense to achieve audit readiness
On 9/28/2018, President Donald Trump signed the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R.6157) into law.
On 30 September 2018, the FY2018 Budget expired and the FY2019 budget came into effect.
The FY2019 Budget for the Department of Defense is approximately $686,074,048,000
(Including Base + Overseas Contingency Operations + Emergency Funds) in discretionary spending and $8,992,000,000 in mandatory spending totaling $695,066,000,000
Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) David L. Norquist
said in a hearing regarding the FY 2019 budget: "The overall number you often hear is $716 billion. That is the amount of funding for national defense, the accounting code is 050, and includes more than simply the Department of Defense. It includes, for example, the Department of Energy and others. That large a number, if you back out the $30 billion for non-defense agencies, you get to $686 billion. That is the funding for the Department of Defense, split between $617 billion in base and $69 billion in overseas contingency
The Department of Defense budget encompasses the majority of the National Defense Budget of approximately $716.0 billion in discretionary spending and $10.8 billion in mandatory spending for a $726.8 billion total. Of the total, $708.1 billion falls under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Armed Services
and Senate Armed Services Committee
and is subject to authorization by the annual National Defense Authorization Act
(NDAA). The remaining $7.9 billion falls under the jurisdiction of other congressional committees.
The Department of Defense is unique because it is one of the few federal entities where the majority of its funding falls into the discretionary category. The majority of the entire federal budget is mandatory, and much of the discretionary funding in the budget consists of DoD dollars.
DoD Total (Base + OCO + Emergency) Budget by Appropriation Title 
*Numbers may not add due to rounding
The Department of Defense was the largest single consumer of energy in the United States in 2006.
In FY 2006, the department used almost 30,000 gigawatt hours (GWH) of electricity, at the cost of almost $2.2 billion. The department's electricity use would supply enough electricity to power more than 2.6 million average American homes. In electricity consumption, if it were a country, the department would rank 58th in the world, using slightly less than Denmark
and slightly more than Syria
(CIA World Factbook, 2006).
The Department of Defense was responsible for 93% of all US government fuel consumption in 2007 (Department of the Air Force
: 52%; Department of the Navy
: 33%; Department of the Army
: 7%; other Department components: 1%).
The Department of Defense uses 4,600,000,000 US gallons (1.7×
L) of fuel annually, an average of 12,600,000 US gallons (48,000,000 L) of fuel per day. A large Army division may use about 6,000 US gallons (23,000 L) per day. According to the 2005 CIA World Factbook
, if it were a country, the Department of Defense would rank 34th in the world in average daily oil use, coming in just behind Iraq
and just ahead of Sweden
The Air Force is the largest user of fuel energy in the federal government
. The Air Force uses 10% of the nation's aviation fuel. (JP-8
accounts for nearly 90% of its fuels.) This fuel usage breaks down as such: 82% jet fuel, 16% facility management and 2% ground vehicle/equipment.
In the latest Center for Effective Government
analysis of 15 federal agencies which receive the most Freedom of Information Act
requests, published in 2015 (using 2012 and 2013 data, the most recent years available), the DoD earned 61 out of a possible 100 points, a D− grade. While it had improved from a failing grade in 2013, it still had low scores in processing requests (55%) and their disclosure rules (42%).
A 2013 Reuters
investigation concluded that Defense Finance & Accounting Service
, the Department of Defense’s primary financial management arm, implements monthly “unsubstantiated change actions”—illegal, inaccurate “plugs”—that forcibly make DOD’s books match Treasury’s books.
Fudging the accounts with false entries is standard operating procedure… Reuters has found that the Pentagon is largely incapable of keeping track of its vast stores of weapons, ammunition, and other supplies; thus it continues to spend money on new supplies it doesn’t need and on storing others long out of date. It has amassed a backlog of more than half a trillion dollars… [H]ow much of that money paid for actual goods and services delivered isn’t known.
In 2015, a Pentagon consulting firm performed an audit on the Department of Defense's budget. It found that there was $125 billion in wasteful spending that could be saved over the next five years without layoffs or reduction in military personnel. In 2016, The Washington Post
uncovered that rather than taking the advice of the auditing firm, senior defense officials suppressed and hid the report from the public to avoid political scrutiny.
Other significant legislation related to the Department of Defense includes:
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- ^ Naval History and Heritage Command. "Navy Birthday Information – October 13, 1775". Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- ^ "Congress Officially Created the U.S. Military: September 29, 1789". Library of Congress. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- ^ Joe Carmel, ed. (n.d.) [Original Statute 1789]. "Statutes at Large, Session I, Charter XXV"(PDF). Legisworks. Archived from the original(PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2018. An Act to recognize and adapt to the Constitution of the United States the establishment of the Troops raised under the Resolves of the United States in Congress assembled, and for other purposes therein mentioned.
- ^ Hogan, Michael J. (2000). A cross of iron: Harry S. Truman and the origins of the national security state, 1945–1954. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37–38. ISBN 978-0-521-79537-1.
- ^ Polmar, Norman (2005). The Naval Institute guide to the ships and aircraft of the U.S. fleet. Naval Institute Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-59114-685-8.
- ^ a b "James V. Forrestal, Harry S. Truman Administration". Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense. Office of the Secretary of Defense. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
- ^ Bolton, M. Kent (2008). U.S. national security and foreign policymaking after 9/11: present at the re-creation. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-7425-5900-4.
- ^ Rearden, Steven L. (2001). "Department of Defense". In DeConde, Alexander; et al. (eds.). Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, Volume 1. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-80657-0.
- ^ Paltrow, Scot J.; Carr, Kelly (2 July 2013). "Reuters Investigates - Unaccountable: The Pentagon's bad bookkeeping". Reuters. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
- ^ Leveck, Terrence (16 February 2018). "America's Missing Money". City Journal. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
- ^ Paltrow, Scot J. (19 August 2016). "U.S. Army fudged its accounts by trillions of dollars, auditor finds". Reuters. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
- ^ "Organizational and Management Planning". Odam.defense.gov. Archived from the original on 7 May 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- ^ "Directives Division" (PDF). www.dtic.mil.
- ^  10 USC 151. Joint Chiefs of Staff: composition; functions
- ^ 10 U.S.C. § 3033 Archived 12 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ 10 U.S.C. § 5033 Archived 12 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ 10 U.S.C. § 5043 Archived 12 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ 10 U.S.C. § 8033 Archived 12 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ 10 U.S.C. § 162(b) Archived 29 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ 10 U.S.C § 151(b) Archived 12 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ 10 U.S.C § 155 Archived 12 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Polmar, Norman (2005). "Defense organization". The Naval Institute guide to the ships and aircraft of the U.S. fleet. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-685-8.
- ^ 10 U.S.C. § 3013, 10 U.S.C. § 5013 and 10 U.S.C. § 8013
- ^ a b c d Polmar, Norman (2005). "Defense Organization". The Naval Institute guide to the ships and aircraft of the U.S. fleet. Naval Institute Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-59114-685-8.
- ^ Watson, Cynthia A. (2010). Combatant Commands: Origins, Structure, and Engagements. ABC-CLIO. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-313-35432-8.
- ^ a b c Whitley, Joe D.; et al., eds. (2009). "Unified Combatant Commands and USNORTHCOM". Homeland security: legal and policy issues. American Bar Association. ISBN 978-1-60442-462-1.
- ^ "Combat Commands". US Department of Defense. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
- ^ "Military expenditure (% of GDP). Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ( SIPRI ), Yearbook: Armaments, Disarmament, and International Security". World Bank. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
- ^ a b Paul McLeary (February 05, 2020) SecDef Eyeing Moving Billions By Eliminating Offices, Legacy Systems
- ^ Mackenzie Eaglen (05 February 2020) Is Army Richest Service? Navy? Air Force? AEI’s Eaglen Peels Back Budget Onion
- ^ McLeary (February 06, 2020) Flatline: SecDef Esper Says DoD Budgets Must Grow 3-5%
- ^ "United States Federal Budget for Fiscal Year 2010 (vid. p.53)" (PDF). Government Printing Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
- ^ a b "FY 2010 DoD Agencywide Agency Financial Report (vid. p.25)" (PDF). US Department of Defense. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- ^ "Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) Plan Status Report" (PDF). Comptroller, Department of Defense. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- ^ "Current & Future Defense Capabilities of the U.S." UTEP. Archived from the original on 2 August 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- ^ "Federal Spending: Where Does the Money Go". National Priorities Project. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- ^ Granger, Kay (28 September 2018). "Titles - H.R.6157 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
- ^ "FY 2019 PB Green Book" (PDF).
- ^ "The FY2019 Defense Budget Request: An Overview" (PDF).
- ^ "FY2019 Budget Request Overview Book.pdf"(PDF).
- ^ Andrews Anthony (2011). Department of Defense Facilities: Energy Conservation Policies and Spending. DIANE Publishing. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-4379-3835-7.
- ^ a b Colonel Gregory J. Lengyel, USAF, The Brookings Institution, Department of Defense Energy Strategy, August 2007.
- ^ Colonel Gregory J. Lengyel, USAF, The Brookings Institution, Department of Defense Energy Strategy, August 2007, "Archived copy"(PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
- ^ Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security Archived 8 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine, CNA Analysis & Solutions, May 2009
- ^ Making the Grade: Access to Information Scorecard 2015 March 2015, 80 pages, Center for Effective Government, retrieved 21 March 2016
- ^ Paltrow, Scot J. (18 November 2013). "Special Report: The Pentagon's doctored ledgers conceal epic waste". Reuters. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
- ^ Paltrow, Scot J. (18 November 2013). "Special Report: The Pentagon's doctored ledgers conceal epic waste". Reuters. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
- ^ Whitlock, Craig; Woodward, Bob (5 December 2016). "Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
- ^ "Iran's parliament voted to classify the entire US military and the Pentagon as terrorist organizations days after Soleimani's assassination". Businessinsider.com. 7 January 2019.
- ^ "Iran's parliament designates all US forces as 'terrorists'". Aljazeera. 7 January 2019.
Last edited on 19 June 2021, at 06:08
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