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

Latest Headlines

Official: Budget cuts, pay freezes hurt DoD acquisition workforce

Myriad challenges face Defense Department acquisition and many of them have been exacerbated budget cuts and pay freezes, DoD officials told a House panel July 10. "The fiscal challenges, shifting operational requirements, the current budget instability deriving from sequestration, years of pay freezes, furloughs, military end-strength reductions and the requirement for commensurate reductions in our civilian workforce, more than a decade of conflict--inevitably all of these things have affected the acquisition workforce," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Stephanie Barna at the hearing.

GAO: DoD didn't fulfill requirements of workforce assessment plan

The Defense Department didn't address all of its reporting requirements for its workforce plan, including assessments of critical skills and competencies, a July 9 Government Accountability Office report says.

Military commission: Current benefits don't match what guardsmen and reservists are asked to do

National Guard and reservist benefits don't match the requirements that those military members have been asked to perform, a military commission said in its interim report. "Numerous Guardsman, reservists and subject matter experts explained to the commission how current compensation programs do not adequately address these operational requirements, specifically noting inflexibilities in health care benefits during Guard and Reserve mobilization and demobilization," the interim report says.

DoD given good marks for managing software licenses, GAO finds

The Defense Department is doing a good job of managing its software licenses and has laid the groundwork for data analyses that could help it negotiate better agreements and achieve greater savings in the future, congressional investigators said..

IG: DoD overpaid for helicopter parts by $9 million

The Defense Department overpaid about $9 million for spare parts for the Bell Helicopter Textron, the department inspector general says in a July 7 report. "This occurred because the contracting officer did not perform an adequate analysis when procuring sole-source commercial parts," the IG says.

DoD spends generally more on prescription drugs than both Medicaid, Medicare, GAO says

The Defense Department paid more across an entire sample of prescription brand-name and generic drugs than both Medicaid and Medicare, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report.

Sequestration cuts would shrink Army, deplete forces, under secretary says

If sequestration continues, the Army will have to shrink its forces to 420,000 active duty soldiers, which would be too small for the service to do its job effectively, said Army Under Secretary Brad Carson at a June 26 Institute of Land Warfare event. If the military were to get involved in a major operation with those force numbers, he said it would be stretched so thin that the ratio of soldiers at war and those in the United States would be about equal.

DoD: Budget constraints mean military "will accept risk" in countering WMDs

The new Defense Department strategy for countering weapons of mass destruction reflects how even the military's most critical missions are subject to the realities of an era of limited budgets. The strategy, released June 30, replaces a counter-WMD strategy that the department published eight years ago.

CBO lays out DoD cost cutting options including pay raise caps and reduced benefits

If sequestration continues, the Defense Department will need to cut spending by about $500 billion over the next decade and that could be most easily achieved by cutting benefits and pay, a June 30 Congressional Budget Office report says.

DOD must tap into global science and technology developments to maintain military edge, paper says

A new research paper argues that the Defense Department risks losing its technological edge to maintain a military advantage if it doesn't tap into international science and technology developments.