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

Army looks to consolidate electronic and cyber operations

The Army hopes it can improve the capabilities of cyber operations, electronic warfare and electromagnetic spectrum network operations by encouraging collaboration among them, said Col. Carmine Cicalese, chief of Army cyberspace and information operations during a recent television appearance. Army currently has eight centers of excellence that it hopes can absorb the consolidation of 32 schools for cyber, electronic warfare and spectrum operations.

Children of deployed service members experience more problems, Brookings panel says

Children who had deployed parents experienced more problems in school and conflicts with families and peers than the national average and the longer the parent was deployed, the bigger the impact on the child, said Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow and Co-Director of Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution, at an Oct. 1 event.

GAO critical of how DoD estimates insourcing cost

The way the Defense Department estimates the cost of switching from contractors to government employees has come under new criticism from the Government Accountability Office. Whether government employees or private contractors ultimately cost the government less has long been a subject of debate, and past attempts to settle the matter have faced scrutiny for flaws in their methods and assumptions.

VA furloughs 7,000 VBA workers; FAA pleads for financial flexibility for its workers

About 7,000 Veterans Benefits Administration workers were furloughed Oct. 8, leaving VBA regional offices closed, VA Spokeswoman Victoria Dillon said. While regional offices won't be open, most toll-free numbers will still be available to veterans seeking information about their benefits.

Special forces target militant Islamists in two weekend raids

The United States carried out two raids against Islamist militants this past weekend, in Libya and Somalia. No U.S. personnel were hurt during either operation, Pentagon spokesman George Little  said  Oct. 6. Little took to Twitter Oct. 7 to dispute reports that the Somalia operation was unsuccessful. "We knocked on al-Shabaab's front door. They shouldn't sleep easy," he  said.

NSA targets Tor, finds limited success

Tor, the anonymity-protecting Internet routing technology favored by users ranging from political dissidents to terrorists and pedophiles has been the subject of concerted attempts by the National Security Agency to break its protections. "With manual analysis we can de-anonymize a very small fraction of Tor users, however, no success de-anonymizing a user in response to a TOPI request/on demand," a leaked NSA presentation states.

DoD calls back most furloughed civilian employees

The Defense Department will recall most of its civilian workforce that was furloughed due to the government shutdown, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in an Oct. 5 statement. Hagel gained authority through a recent law that allows him to pay civilian personnel who provide support to the Armed Forces, he said.

Sequestation hurts DoD readiness, generals testify

Sequestration has forced the Army to defer refurbishment of 800 vehicles, 2,000 weapons, 32 helicopters and 10,000 pieces of communication gear returned from combat zones in 2013, or $1.7 billion of the planned $4 billion equipment reset, the Army's deputy chief of staff for logistics told Congress last week.

DoD seeks to bring back some furloughed civilian workers, if law allows

The Defense Department doesn't yet know how a law President Obama signed Monday to pay military and civilain workers during the shutdown will affect civilian DoD workers who were furloughed. The law (H.R. 3210) gives Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel the authority to provide pay to the civilian personnel who Hagel determines are providing support to members of the Armed Forces. The law does not set a dollar amount

Mobile policies vary in wake of shutdown

It's clear under federal law that only employees with essential functions necessary to keep federal benefit programs running or for the protection of national security, life and property, and functions funded by money with another source than one year appropriations bills are permitted to continue working. What's less clear is how agency contingency plans are to address employees' use of mobile devices while they're unable to work.