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

DoD cost estimate for Marines' Pacific relocation not reliable, GAO says

The Defense Department's preliminary cost estimate for its  plan to relocate 9,000 Marines from of Okinawa, Japan,because it's missing costs and is based on limited data, a June 11 Government Accountability Office report says.

DoD enlists hackers to develop nutrition app

In an effort help soldiers better manage their combat nutrition, the Defense Department will allow hackers to create apps that soldiers can use to interact with nutritional data in a mobile environment. The event, the DoD's first mobile web hackathon, runs between June 28 at 6 p.m. and June 29 at 7 p.m. onsite at Hack/Reduce, a non-profit created to cultivate a community of Big Data experts in Boston, Mass. Winners will be announced July 3.

House committee passes $522.1 billion National Defense Authorization Act

The House Armed Services Committee passed on June 6 their version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which specified $552.1 billion in overall spending for national defense and an additional $85.8 billion in overseas contingency operations. The bill (H.R. 1960), would allocate $526.6 billion for Defense Department discretionary spending and $7.7 billion in mandatory funds.

DKO goes dark, DoD collaboration tools transition

Defense Knowledge Online went offline May 31, said the Army News Service in a June 3 post. The closure of DKO comes following 14 months of gradual transition to collaboration software hosted through the Defense Information Systems Agency's enterprise services.

DoD made $1.1 billion in improper payments, GAO says

The Defense Department made $1.1 billion in improper payments in 2011, a recently released May 13 Government Accountability Office report says. Improper payments include wrong payout for health benefits, retirement pay and travel reimbursement.

Task force calls for stronger U.S. international engagement on cyber issues

A task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations calls on the United States to build an alliance for cybersecurity with like-minded actors. The task force – charged with making recommendations for the defense of an open global Internet and co-chaired by John Negroponte, a former diplomat and director of national intelligence, and Samuel Palmisano, the former chief executive officer of IBM – issued June 6 a final  report  (.pdf).

Spotlight: House passes VA and military construction spending bill

The House passed a veterans affairs and military construction spending bill June 4 that includes $73.3 billion in discretionary funding for fiscal 2014, $63.1 billion of which would be for the...

House subcomittee lays out $512.5 billion defense spending bill

The House Appropriations subcommittee on defense marked up a defense appropriations bill on June 5 that provides $512.5 billion in base funding. That amount, which is part of a $972.6 billion discretionary spending plan (.pdf) for the coming fiscal year, is $3.4 billion less than President Obama's defense spending request and $28.1 billion more than the current level after sequestration spending cuts.

U.S.: Cybersecurity should be regular part of diplomatic exchanges with China

The United States wants to make cybersecurity a regular part of its diplomatic exchanges with China, White House senior  officials said during a June 4 press call ahead of a planned 2 day meeting between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in California later this week.

DoD proposes anti-counterfeit IT measures

The Defense Department has proposed updating its regulations to require that major contractors subject to cost accounting standards – and their large subcontractors – have anti-counterfeit avoidance and detection systems in place for electronic parts.