The United States Department of Defense
) is the federal
department charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies
and functions of the government relating directly to national security
and the military
. The organization and
functions of the DOD are set forth in Title 10
of the United States Code
The DOD is
the major tenant of The
D.C., and has three major components– the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the
Department of the Air
Force. Among the many DOD agencies are the Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon Force Protection
Agency (PFPA), the Defense Intelligence Agency
(DIA), the National
Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the National
Security Agency (NSA).
The department also operates several
joint service schools, including the National War College
During 1945, specific plans for the proposed DoD were put forth by
the Army, the Navy, and the Joint
Chiefs of Staff
. In a special message to Congress on 19
December 1945, President Harry Truman
proposed creation of a unified Department of National Defense. A
proposal went to Congress in April 1946, but was held up by the
Naval Affairs Committee
hearings in July 1946, which raised objections to the concentration
of power in a single department. Truman eventually sent new
legislation to Congress in February 1947, where it was debated and
amended for several months.
DoD was created in 1947 as a national military establishment with a
single secretary as its head to preside over the former Department of War
in 1789) and Department of the Navy
(founded in 1798; formerly the Board of Admiralty, founded in
1780). The Department of the
was also created as a new service at the same time
(it had been part of the War Department as the United States Army Air Force
and made part of DoD. DoD was created in order to reduce interservice rivalry
which was believed
to have reduced military effectiveness during World War II
On July 26, 1947, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947
which set up the National Military Establishment to begin
operations on September 18, 1947, the day after the Senate
confirmed James V. Forrestal
as the first Secretary of
Defense. The Establishment had the unfortunate abbreviation "NME"
(the obvious pronunciation being "enemy"), and was renamed the
"Department of Defense" (abbreviated as DOD or DoD) on August 10,
1949; in addition, the Secretary of Defense was given greater
authority over three of the branches of the military (Army
, and Air Force). Prior to the
creation of the National Military Establishment / Department of
Defense, the Armed Forces of the United States were separated into
different cabinet-level departments without much central authority.
Corps remained as a separate service under the Department of the
Navy, and the Coast Guard
remained in the Department of the Treasury, ready to be shifted to the Navy Department during
time of declared war (as it was in both world wars).
Department includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, as
well as non-combat agencies such as the National
Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence
The DoD's annual budget was roughly $786 billion
in 2007. This figure does not include tens of billions more in
supplemental expenditures allotted by Congress throughout the year,
particularly for the war in Iraq
. It also
does not include expenditures by the Department of Energy
nuclear weapons design and testing.
over matters other than operations is exercised through the three
service departments, the Department of the Army
the Department of
(which includes the Marine Corps
), and the Department of the Air
. Each is led by a service secretary, who are below
wartime, the Department of Defense has authority over the Coast
Guard; in peacetime, that agency is under the control of the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Prior to the creation of DHS, the
Coast Guard was under the control of the Department of
and earlier under the Department of the
Treasury. According to the U.S. Code, the Coast Guard is at all
times considered one of the five armed services of the United
States. During times of declared war (or by Congressional
direction), the Coast Guard operates as a part of the Navy; the
service has not been under the auspices of Navy since World War II,
but members have served in the undeclared wars and conflicts since
then while the service remained in its peacetime department.
Pentagon, in Arlington County, Virginia, across the
Potomac River from Washington, D.C.,
is the headquarters of the Department of Defense.
Department of Defense is protected by the Pentagon Force Protection
which ensures law enforcement and security for The
Pentagon and various other jurisdictions throughout the National Capital
The President of the
is the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military,
though in that position he is a civilian and not a member of the
The command structure of the Department of Defense is defined by
the Goldwater-Nichols Act
(PL 99-433), signed into law by President Ronald Reagan
on 1 October 1986. The Act reworked the command structure of the
United States military, introducing the most sweeping changes to
the Department since it was established in the National Security Act of
.Under the act, the chain of command runs from the President of the United
, through the Secretary of Defense, to the combatant commanders
command all military forces within their area of responsibility.
The Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff
and the service Chiefs of Staff
are responsible for
readiness of the U.S. military and serve as the President's
military advisers, but are not in the chain of command. The
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the highest ranking
military officer in the United States. Each service is responsible
for organizing, training and equipping military units for the
commanders of the various Unified Combatant Commands
National Command organizational chart
Secretary of Defense
States Naval Observatory falls under the Chief of Naval Operations.
Communications System was moved to the Department
of Homeland Security, but only for executive purposes.
2005 DoD Structure.
still centralizes its activities within the Department
of Defense, since the human resources required by NCS (example:
Military Departments) still reside within the Department of
Defense, or for retention of practical maintenance.
Unified Combatant Commands
There are ten Unified
; six regional and four functional. United
States Africa Command became initially operational in October
||Area of Responsibility
Northern Command (NORTHCOM)
||General Victor E.
Renuart Jr. (USAF) (also Chief of NORAD)
||Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
||North American homeland defense
and coordinating homeland security with civilian forces.
|United States Central
||General David H. Petraeus (USA)
||MacDill Air Force Base, Florida
||Egypt through the
Gulf region, into Central
Asia; handing over responsibility of Horn of Africa to AFRICOM.
European Command (EUCOM)
||General John Craddock
(USA) (also Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Headquarters Allied Powers Europe), Belgium (USEUCOM HQ in Stuttgart, Germany)
||Europe and Israel; handing
over responsibility of Africa to AFRICOM.
|United States Pacific
||Admiral Timothy J. Keating (USN)
||Camp H. M. Smith,
||The Asia-Pacific region including Hawaii.
Southern Command (SOUTHCOM)
||Admiral James Stavridis
||South, Central America and the
|United States Africa
||General William E. Ward (USA)
||Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany for now; to be relocated to African
||Africa excluding Egypt
Operations Command (SOCOM)
||Admiral Eric T. Olson (USN)
||MacDill Air Force Base, Florida
||Provides special operations for the Army, Navy, Air Force and
|U.S. Joint Forces Command
||General James Mattis (USMC) (also Supreme Allied Commander
Support Activity Headquarters and Suffolk, Virginia
||Supports other commands as a joint force provider.
Strategic Command (STRATCOM)
||General Kevin P. Chilton (USAF)
||Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska
||Covers the strategic deterrent force and coordinates the use of
Transportation Command (TRANSCOM)
||General Duncan J. McNabb (USAF)
||Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
||Covers global mobility of all military assets for all regional
|The Geographic Commands
In 2007, a new geographical
command for Africa
was authorized. This proposed significant
changes to the areas of responsibility for other adjacent
geographical commands as shown in the accompanying graphic.
The United States Department of Defense expenditures for fiscal year
2009 are $651.2 billion. This does
not take into account military spending outside of the Department
of Defense, which when included increases the figure to between
$859 billion and $1.16 trillion.
The United States and its closest allies are responsible for
approximately two-thirds of global military spending (of which, in
turn, the U.S. is responsible for the vast majority). Department of
Defense spending accounts for 21% of the United States' federal
budget, and approximately half of its federal discretionary spending
comprises all of the U.S. government's money not accounted for by
in terms of per capita spending, the U.S. ranks third behind
Israel and Singapore.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute,
in 2003 the United States spent approximately 47% of the world's
total military spending of US $956,000,000,000.
As a percentage of its GDP, the United States spent 4.06% on
military in the year 2000, ranking it 28th in the world. This was
higher than France's 2.6%, and lower than Saudi Arabia's 10%.
Also, since it is an all-volunteer force and since most jobs within
it require high degrees of technical skill and personnel retention,
the United States armed forces have dramatically higher personnel
costs, both military and civilian, compared to the militaries of
countries which use conscription
of which have far more troops
United States. However, only China has more standing troops than
the United States.
Facilities and energy
DoD's Energy Conservation Investment Program (ECIP) improves the
energy and water efficiency of existing Military Services'
facilities. The program's projects help the Military Services save
on energy usage and cost.. The American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act of 2009
provided $120 million for the
Also the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has given
money for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army Reserve
, Navy Reserve
, Marine Corps Reserve
, Air Force Reserve
, Army National Guard
and Air National Guard
facilities to invest
in energy efficiency
The Department of Defense uses 4.6 billion gallons of fuel
annually, or an average of 12.6 million gallons of fuel per day. A
large Army division may use about 6,000 gallons per day. According
to the 2005 CIA World Factbook
, the DoD would rank 34th in
the world in average daily oil use, coming in just behind Iraq and
just ahead of Sweden.
In FY 2006, the DoD used almost 30,000 gigawatt hours (GWH) of
electricity, at a cost of almost $2.2 billion. The DoD's
electricity use would supply enough electricity to power more than
2.6 million average American homes. In electricity consumption, the DOD would
rank 58th in the world, using slightly less than Denmark and slightly more than Syria (CIA World
The DoD uses 93% of all US government fuel consumption (Air Force:
52%; Navy: 33%; Army: 7%. Other DoD: 1%).
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
Air Force fuels. This fuel usage breaks down as such: 82% jet fuel,
16% facility management and 2% ground vehicle/equipment. To meet
renewable energy goals, it plans to certify its entire fleet on
coal-to-liquid synthetic fuel blends by 2011. By 2016, it plans to
fuel half of its domestic transportation by US-produced synthetic
blends. The Airforce is currently the leading purchaser of
renewable energy within the Federal government and has been a long
time pioneer of renewable energy development and leadership.
The US Army
has recently prioritized
renewable energy strategies in Iraq. Strategies include the
Tactical Garbage to Energy Refinery Program, which converts 1 ton
of waste to 11 gallons of JP-8
fuel, a photovoltaic
flexible, portable mat, insulating
foam technology, hybrid-electric Manned Ground Vehicles (MGV
), and highly efficient portable cells. The American Recovery and
gave more than $150 million to develop these
To boost its use of renewable energy and to increase its
independence from a supply chain, the U.S. military has begun
implementing the use of Skybuilt Power. Skybuilt Power is a company
that designs highly portable power stations and devices that can be
used in rugged, harsh environments to provide quick and efficient
renewable energy. Skybuilt systems draw upon a combination of solar
and wind power, fuel cells, batteries and diesel generators to
create sustainable, transportable energy. The military can benefit
from using these power systems through cutting their use of fossil
fuels and saving many soldiers' lives. SkyBuilt’s systems can save
up to 95% on fuel costs in the field. Skybuilt Power’s main
products include the SkyStation, a complete power station that can
be set up in rugged climates, the SkySkid, which can be transported
easily via helicopter or forklift, the SkyTrailer, which directly
provides energy to military grade trailers, and the SkyCase and
SkyPAKs, which are man-portable renewable energy generators.
Especially important to the military are the SkyTrailers, which are
used to power military grade trailers in transport. Many of the
casualties of war are a result of attacks on fuel convoys. The
SkyTrailer is designed to be usable within only an hour. Use of the
Skybuilt Power systems can reduce the number of fuel convoys needed
to power forward-operating military bases by cutting the military’s
need for fossil fuels to power vehicles.
The Navy has tremendous variety within its maritime infrastructure.
They are working on further developing wind and nuclear
alternatives to traditional fuel engines. The Navy, like the
Airforce is a leader in renewable development and was awarded the
prestigious Platts Global Energy Award.
On February 26, 2002, the Department of Defense Office of the
Inspector General has reported that DOD has not and will not
account for $1.1 trillion of "unsupported accounting entries". In
addition, there have been several high-profile Government Accountability
investigations of the Department of Defense
The GAO is also interested in ways DOD can partner with other
government agencies to save money and create efficiencies.
was through use of the Veterans Administration's Consolidated Mail
Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP) program.
The CMOP fills
continuation of therapy or refill prescriptions only. Initial
prescriptions are written for veterans at one of the Veteran
Administration’s health care facilities. When a refill is needed,
the health care facilities process the prescriptions. The CMOP then
uploads this information from multiple facilities in its region.
Once filled, the United
States Postal Service
(USPS) delivers the prescriptions. The
health care facility or clinic is notified of the prescription’s
completion electronically. As of 2000, the annual workload was near
50 million prescriptions. Processing and filling prescriptions took
two days; three more days were required for mail delivery.
The DOD and VA conducted a pilot program in FY 2003. In its 2005
report, GAO-05-555, the GAO found that the DOD could generate
savings because CMOP's size allows it to negotiate volume
discounts. The CMOP program is now serving the entire
country from a number of locations including West Los
Angeles, California; Bedford, Massachusetts; Dallas,
South Carolina; Leavenworth, Kansas; and Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The military's analysis of the missile strike on a dead U.S. spy
satellite has revealed no sign of danger from debris, including no
hazard from the satellite's fuel tank, a Pentagon spokesman said
February 22, 2008. The launched missile successfully destroyed the
fuel tank of an inoperable spy satellite, U.S. military officials
said February 25, 2008.
In fall of 2006, the U.S. Defense Department accidentally shipped
ballistic missile components instead of helicopter batteries to
Taiwan, it was
reported on March 25, 2008.
The parts were 1960s technology,
designed for use with Minuteman
. The missile components were first shipped
from F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming to Hill Air Force Base in Utah in
On April 20, 2008, The New York
published an exposé accusing the U.S. Department of Defense
of running a propaganda "message machine" to spread
the administration's talking points
on Iraq by briefing
retired military commanders for network television and cable television appearances, where they
were presented as independent analysts.
To meet the growing demands in the Middle East and around the
world, Secretary of Defense Robert
proposed to President Bush to increase the overall size
of the military by approximately 92,000 troops over the course of
five years. Specifically, the proposal calls for an Army troop cap
of 545,000 to 550,000 active duty soldiers and a troop cap of
202,000 active duty Marines. The total active duty force of the
United States after the buildup will be about 1,479,000.There have
also been calls to increase the sizes of the other branches of the
military to match the increase in the Marines and Army.