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

Spotlight: House passed NDAA rejects DoD cost cutting requests

The House Thursday passed the annual defense authorization bill that would bump military pay by 1.8 percent, but denied several cost cutting requests from the Defense Department. The bill (H.R.4435) came in nearly identical to the one passed by the House Armed Services Committee.

DoD may stick with 4 separate systems to track contractors

The Defense Department may keep four separate systems to track the hundreds of thousands of contractors it employs, says the Government Accountability Office.

DARPA's cyberwarfare program critical to future of kinetic warfare, says Prabhakar

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's cyberwarfare program, called Plan X, is one of the agency's highest priorities, said DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar. "We think it's going to become integral to the kinetic warfighting of the future," said Prabhakar during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapping now a major U.S. priority

"Resolving this crisis is now one of the highest priorities of the U.S. government," said Robert Jackson, the State Department's principal deputy assistant secretary for African affairs.

Report: DoD rarely revisits list of most serious biological threats

The Defense Department hasn't followed its own directive to annually update its list of biological agents that pose the greatest threat.

Bill would extend maternity leave for female soldiers

About 50 House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are backing legislation that would increase the amount of maternity leave women in the military get from six weeks to 12 weeks. The bill, introduced by Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), would bring military guidelines in line with federal guidelines for female civilian feds under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

GAO sides with agencies on unrealistic guidance for major IT projects

It's unrealistic for agencies working on major information technology projects to produce functional parts of those projects every six months, as required by the Office of Management and Budget, says a report from the Government Accountability Office.

Hale: DoD won't produce full auditable financial statement by Sept. 30

The Defense Department won't be fully ready to produce an auditable budget statement by its Sept. 30 deadline, DoD Comptroller Robert Hale told a Senate panel. About 10 percent of the DoD budget is ready for the audit currently, Hale said, and about 80 percent should be ready for the deadline. "We don't push them out if they're not ready, and will move to fix them," Hale said at a May 13 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. "We badly want to get to the top of the hill, but we don't want to waste taxpayer money."

Hagel open to reviewing military transgender ban

The military should review its prohibition of transgender people in the military, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on ABC's "This Week" on May 11. "I'm open to that, by the way. I'm open to those assessments, because, again, I go back to the bottom line," Hagel said. "Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it."

Military testing powered exoskeletons to boost soldiers' strength and speed

U.S. defense research agencies over the next few months will begin exploring more wearable technologies to help boost a soldier's muscle performance and other capabilities.