The Department of Defense (DoD) is a department of the federal government and has three main components: The departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The DoD is housed in the Pentagon building. The department's roles and limits are contained in Title 10 of the US Code. This section of the law has five components: Subtitle A refers to General Military Law, Subtitle B to the Army, Subtitle C to the Navy and the Marine Corps, Subtitle D to the Air Force and Subtitle E to Military Reserves. Important agencies within the DoD include the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), National Security Agency (NSA), the Missile Defense Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The DoD receives the largest portion of each year's federal discretionary spending budget. 

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Latest Headlines

Sequestration resulted in deep cuts to DoD procurement spending, report says

The Defense Department has cut contracting dollars by 16 percent in 2013 from the prior year as a result of sequestration, according to a recent report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. DoD's budget was cut by about 8 percent in 2013, from 2012, and spending on procurement took the brunt of the hit, the Oct. 15 report says.

Thousands of employees on paid administrative leave costing government millions

Thousands of federal employees are being kept on administrative leave while they await rulings on misconduct, an Oct. 17 Government Accountability Office report says. Over a three years period that the GAO analyzed, more than 57,000 federal workers were place on administrative leave for at least a month.

DOD gets guidebook for shutting down programs

The Defense Acquisition University developed a guidebook to help managers terminate programs effectively ahead of possible calls for shutdowns due to budget constraints. In lieu of a formal shutdown process at DOD, the "Smart Shutdown Guidebook" (pdf) addresses the handling of personnel, technology and data preservation, and program security protection, for example.

Survey: Morale eroding at DoD

Civilian Defense Department employees are increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs with approval ratings dropping in more than half of the categories on the DoD portion of the governmentwide Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey administered by the Office of Personnel Management. Though the full report for all agencies has yet to be released, DoD posted its results (pdf) Tuesday.

Army police whistleblower retains his job pending investigation

The firing of an Army civilian police officer who said other officers were receiving unearned pay will be investigated by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. OSC officials persuaded the Merit Systems Protection Board to stay Kenneth Delano's departure from the force for 45 days while it looks into whether the Army retaliated against Delano. OSC's role is to protect federal whistleblowers.

Confronting climate change important to US national security, Defense Department says

The Defense Department released a plan Oct. 13 to adapt operations, training, infrastrucutre and resources to effects from climate change, saying it poses an immediate threat to national security.

Cyberwarfare underway 'all of the time,' says former NATO supreme allied commander

Cyberwarfare is not something theoretical or reserved for conflict in the distant future, but happening continuously right now, said Atlantic Council Board Director Gen. Wesley Clark Oct. 9 at an event hosted by the think tank in Washington, D.C.

GAO: Agencies not taking advantage of market research on lower dollar contracts

Federal agencies are taking advantage of market research for big dollar procurements, but are missing those opportunities for smaller contracts, an Oct. 9 Government Accountability Office report says. All 28 contracts GAO reviewed included some evidence of the market research conducted. The contracts GAO reviewed were pulled from the Defense Department, Homeland Security Department, Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Department.

DoD helping other countries build cybercommands, says official

The Defense Department is working with foreign militaries on cyber "capacity building" by helping them stand up offensive and defensive capabilities in the cyber domain, said a DoD official during an Oct. 1 event hosted by the Washington Post.

DoD seeks to close predatory lending loopholes

The Defense Department wants to close loopholes in current rules that are meant to protect servicemembers and their families from predatory lenders. In 2006, Congress passed a law that caps interest rates on loans for active duty troops and their families. The DoD then determined which lenders the law applied to.