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

New report argues for narrowing role of nuclear weapons in US policies, diplomacy and forces

The report recognizes that nuclear weapons are "indispensable" to deter other nations from attacking the U.S. and allies with such weapons, but offer no other advantage over U.S. conventional military superiority.

SASC approves bill to overhaul military retirement plan

The Senate Armed Services Committee advanced a bill May 14 that would fundamentally change the way the Defense Department handles military retirement. Part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act outlines the provision, which would change the military's retirement plan from a defined benefit structure to a defined contribution, or 401k-style, plan.

China views offensive cyber capabilities as key during warfare, annual DoD report says

In such circumstances, the People's Liberation Army would use cyberspace operations to not only achieve "information dominance," but disable an enemy's operations.

GAO: DoD moves too slowly on whistleblower investigations

The Defense Department is not moving quickly enough on whistleblower retaliation investigations, says a May 7 Government Accountability Office report.

GAO: Signs of success for DoD innovative tech transition program, but improvements needed

RIP, one of several DoD programs that's intended to accelerate the development and use of cutting-edge technologies as efficiently as possible, has gotten about $1.3 billion in congressional funding between fiscal years 2011 and 2015.

Defense Secretary comes out against Republican budget proposal

The head of the Defense Department rebuffed Republican lawmakers' attempt to use Overseas Contingency funding to bolster the DoD budget while still reducing spending for non-defense agencies.

CRS: DoD should rethink policies on transgender people

After the Justice Department announced transgender federal employees would be added to the list of people that can't be discriminated against under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Defense Department should take a serious look at making the same change for military members, says an April 28 Congressional Research Service report obtained by the Federation of American Scientists.

GAO: More than 40% of DoD contracts procured without competition

Only about 58 percent of contracts the Defense Department awarded from fiscal 2010 through fiscal 2014 were procured through competition, says a May 1 Government Accountability Office report to Congress.

DoD issues sweeping update to cyber strategy (Audio)

The Defense Department unveiled  a new cyber strategy  today that affirms its commitment to more effective deterrence in the cyber domain and the integration of offensive cyber options into combatant command plans. 

House expected to consider 2 cyber threat data sharing bills that grant liability protections

The Obama administration largely supports both bills although it had some reservations regarding their liability protections. But civil liberties and privacy groups say they strongly opposed one bill sponsored by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.