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

DHS can make significant reforms by looking at past Pentagon history, RAND analyst says

The Goldwater-Nichols Act, also known as the Department of Defense Reorganization Act, implemented "thoughtful, serious and reasoned reforms" at the Pentagon and similar legislation can help reform and improve DHS management and operational activities, wites Daniel M. Gerstein.

Report: Obama to request boost in Defense funding

Obama plans to announce his budget request Feb. 2 and with that will come a $585 billion request for the Defense Department, a Jan. 27 Politico article says. That's a $38 billion increase over the current fiscal year's DoD budget. The request includes $534.3 billion for the base DoD budget and $50.9 billion in overseas contingency operations.

IG: Navy and Marine Corps justified IT contracts with little or no competition

The Navy and Marine Corps reasonably justified about $220 million worth of IT contracts that were solicited without full and open competition, says the Defense Department's inspector general in a report issued Jan. 23.

NNSA should remain within Energy Department despite overlap with other agencies, says panel

As National Nuclear Security Administration laboratories shift away from a focus on nuclear projects and undertake more assignments from other agencies to address broader national security concerns, a larger debate over their governance has also emerged.

Pew poll: Public expresses favorable opinion of most agencies

Even though overall trust in the government is near historic lows, the public expressed favorable views toward the individual agencies in a Jan. 22 Pew Research Center poll. Wide majorities of people express favorable views of such government agencies as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NASA and the Defense Department.

GAO: DoD doesn't know if it's staffing secretary offices at the right levels

The Defense Department doesn't know if it employs the appropriate number of workers at headquarters because it doesn't determine personnel requirements as part of a systematic process and procedures aren't in place to make sure the department assesses its personnel needs periodically, says a Jan. 21 Government Accountability report.

Two DoD employees milk Army for recruitment bonuses through bogus website

Two Defense Department employees perpetrated a scheme to collect recruiting bonuses through a fake Army website, and though the DoD found out about it, both continue to work for the department, says a Jan. 20 statement by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). McCaskill says a retired Army sergeant and his wife, who both work for the DoD, set up a website called OfficialArmy.com that looked like an actual Army website.

SIGAR oversight results in more than $1B in savings, says report

Recommendations from audits conducted by the Defense Department's Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction allowed an estimated $1.1 billion to be put to better use and the sustainment or recovery of more than $11.1 million, according to a Jan. 20 report from the watchdog.

Air Force wants a round of BRAC to make up for deflated budget

The Air Force plans to ask Congress again this year to let it close some bases and retire aging aircraft, even though Congress has continually rejected those requests over the last few years. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters in a Jan. 15 press conference that due to tight budgets, the service will need to make adjustments elsewhere when it proposes its fiscal 2016 budget request in the coming months.

VistA marketing ramps up in advance of DoD EHR award

A marketing campaign aimed at raising the profile of the Veterans Affairs Department's open source electronic health record is in full swing. The Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, or VistA, now has a website, Twitter account and LinkedIn group- just as the Defense Department considers a VistA proposal for its new EHR.