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Government Documents: Defense

Gov Docs: Defense Guide Contents


Department of Defense

Central Command

Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office

Defense Acquisition Portal

Defense Acquisition University

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Defense Contract Audit Agency

Defense Contract Management Agency

Defense Finance & Accounting Service

Defense Forensics & Biometrics Agency

Defense Information Services Agency

Defense Intelligence Agency

Defense Logistics Agency

Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board

Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office

Defense Security Cooperation Agency

Defense Security Service

Defense Technical Information Center

Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Joint Chiefs of Staff

Military Health System / Defense Health Agency

Military Postal Service Agency

Missile Defense Agency

National Defense University

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

National Security Agency / Central Security Service

Office of Inspector General

Office of the General Counsel

Pentagon Force Protection Agency

Strategic Command

U.S. Air Force

U.S. Army

U.S. Marine Corps

U.S. Navy

Unified Combatant Commands

Washington Headquarters Services

Other Defense Resources

DoD News Articles


DoD News Releases



Department of Defense LogoDepartment of Defense The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. The department's headquarters is at the Pentagon. The Secretary of Defense is the principal defense policy advisor to the President. Under the direction of the President, the Secretary exercises authority, direction, and control over the Department of Defense. The Deputy Secretary, the second-highest ranking official in the DoD, is delegated full power and authority to act for the Secretary and to exercise the powers of the Secretary on any and all matters for which the Secretary is authorized to act.

DOD Agencies: (=Link to agency organizational chart)

Central CommandCombating Terrorism Technical Support Office Defense Acquisition PortalDefense Acquisition University Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Defense Contract Audit AgencyDefense Contract Management AgencyDefense Finance & Accounting ServiceDefense Forensics & Biometrics AgencyDefense Information Services Agency Defense Intelligence Agency Defense Logistics AgencyDefense POW/MIA Accounting AgencyDefense Security Cooperation Agency Defense Security Service Defense Technical Information CenterDefense Threat Reduction AgencyJoint Chiefs of StaffMilitary Health System / Defense Health Agency Military Postal Service AgencyMissile Defense Agency National Defense UniversityNational Geospatial-Intelligence AgencyNational Security Agency / Central Security ServiceOffice of Inspector General Office of the General CounselPentagon Force Protection Agency Strategic CommandU.S. Air ForceU.S. Army U.S. Marine CorpsU.S. Navy Unified Combatant CommandsWashington Headquarters Services

DoD 101:Introductory Overview of the Department of Defense

DoD Dictionary of Military Terms


U.S. Central Command LogoCentral Command: With national and international partners, CENTCOM promotes cooperation among nations, responds to crises, deters or defeats state and non-state aggression, and supports development and when necessary, reconstruction to establish the conditions for regional security, stability and prosperity.


Combating Terrorism Technical Support OfficeCombating Terrorism Technical Support Office : Mission: Identify and develop capabilities to combat terrorism and irregular adversaries and to deliver these capabilities to DoD components and interagency partners through rapid research and development, advanced studies and technical innovation, and provision of support to U.S. military operations.


Defense Acquisition Portal LogoDefense Acquisition Portal: Provides acquisition information for all DoD service components and across all functional disciplines. DAP serves as the central point of access for all AT&L (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) resources and information, and to communicate acquisition reform. As the primary reference tool for the Defense AT&L workforce, it provides a means to link together information and reference assets from various disciplines into an integrated, but decentralized, information source. DAP is one part of the Defense Acquisition University knowledge system. This knowledge system encompasses two web sites that meet two different workforce needs, but when combined are complementary in assisting the workforce in completing their missions, and finding the right information at the right time in the right place. The two sites are the DAP and the Acquisition Community Connection.


Defense Acquisition University LogoDefense Acquisition University : Mission: Provide a global learning environment to develop qualified acquisition, requirements and contingency professionals who deliver and sustain effective and affordable warfighting capabilities. Vision: Enabling the Defense Acquisition Workforce to achieve better acquisition outcomes, now and in the future.

Defense AT&L Magazine

Defense Acquisition Research Journal


Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency LogoDefense Advanced Research Projects Agency : For more than fifty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. The genesis of that mission and of DARPA itself dates to the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and a commitment by the U.S. that, from that time forward, it would be the initiator and not the victim of strategic technological surprises. Working with innovators inside and outside of government, DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission, transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities. The ultimate results have included not only game-changing military capabilities such as precision weapons and stealth technology, but also such icons of modern civilian society such as the Internet, automated voice recognition and language translation, and Global Positioning System receivers small enough to embed in myriad consumer devices.


Defense Contract Audit Agency LogoDefense Contract Audit Agency: The DCAA provides audit and financial advisory services to Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal entities responsible for acquisition and contract administration. DCAA operates under the authority, direction, and control of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Officer.


Defense Finance & Accounting Service LogoDefense Finance & Accounting Service: In 1991, the Secretary of Defense created the DFAS to standardize, consolidate, and improve accounting and financial functions throughout the DoD. The intent was to reduce the cost of the Department's finance and accounting operations while strengthening its financial management. DFAS pays all DoD military and civilian personnel, retirees and annuitants, as well as major DoD contractors and vendors. DFAS also supports customers outside the DoD in support of electronic government initiatives. Customers include the Executive Office of the President, the Department of Energy, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.


Defense Forensic & Biometris Agency LogoDefense Forensics & Biometrics Agency: DFBA leads, consolidates and coordinates forensics and biometrics activities and operations for the Dod in support of identity operations. The agency is responsible for applying biometrics and forensics capabilities through various tactics, techniques and processes. Biometrics and forensics are critical to identifying known and unknown individuals by matching them with automated records (such as for access control) or with anonymous samples (such as crime scene investigations). Biometrics and forensics enable a wide range of possible missions, from military operations to business functions that protect national interests.


Defense Information Services Agency LogoDefense Information Services Agency : Mission: DISA, a Combat Support Agency, provides, operates, and assures command and control, information sharing capabilities, and a globally accessible enterprise information infrastructure in direct support to joint warfighters, national level leaders, and other mission and coalition partners across the full spectrum of operations. Vision: Information superiority in defense of our Nation.


Defense Intelligence Agency LogoDefense Intelligence Agency : DIA provides military intelligence to warfighters, defense policymakers and force planners in the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, in support of U.S. military planning and operations and weapon systems acquisition.  They plan, manage, and execute intelligence operations during peacetime, crisis, and war.


Defense Contract Management Agency LogoDefense Contract Management Agency: DoD component that works directly with Defense suppliers to help ensure that DoD, Federal, and allied government supplies and services are delivered on time, at projected cost, and meet all performance requirements. DCMA directly contributes to the military readiness of the United States and its allies, and helps preserve the nation's freedom.


Defense Logistics Agency LogoDefense Logistics Agency: As America’s combat logistics support agency, the DLA provides the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, other federal agencies and partner nation armed forces with a full spectrum of logistics, acquisition and technical services. DLA sources and provides nearly all of the consumable items America’s military forces need to operate – from food, fuel and energy to uniforms, medical supplies and construction material. DLA also supplies nearly 90% of the military’s spare parts, manages the reutilization of military equipment, provides catalogs and other logistics information products, and offers document automation and production services to a host of military and federal agencies.


Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency LogoDefense POW/MIA Accounting Agency: Vision: A world-class workforce fulfills our nation’s obligation by maximizing the number of missing personnel accounted for while ensuring timely, accurate information is provided to their families. Mission: Provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.


Defense Security Cooperation Agency LogoDefense Security Cooperation Agency : DSCA is the Department’s lead agency for the execution of Security Cooperation programs. DSCA subject-matter expertise spans the gamut of Security Cooperation activities to include policy, financial, legal, legislative, programmatic, and weapons systems experts.

     ♦ Defense Trade & Arms Transfers: The transfer of defense articles and services via sale, lease or grant, in furtherance of national
       security and foreign policy objectives. This includes the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program as well as other programs
       specifically designed to address and expedite international partners’ urgent or emerging requirements or capability gaps.
     ♦ Defense Institution Building
: Designed to help international partners establish responsible defense governance to build
       effective, transparent, and accountable defense institutions.
     ♦ International Education & Training
: Academic and professional military education for partner countries at DoD Institutions.
     ♦ Humanitarian Assistance, Disaster Relief, & Mine Action: Building the capacity of partner nation civilian and military institutions
       to provide essential services to civilian populations through civil-military engagement


Defense Technical Information Center LogoDefense Technical Information Center: DTIC has served the information needs of the Defense community for more than 70 years. DTIC reports to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. DTIC is the DoD outlet for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering and business related information. DTIC provides the general public and industry with access to unclassified, unlimited information. DTIC responsibilities include:

  • Preserve and disseminate the research that led to the technologies our warfighters use today
  • Deliver the tools and collections that empower the research and engineering enterprise to accelerate the development of technologies that will help maintain U.S. technical superiority
  • Stimulate innovation with public and industry access to DoD funded research and digital data
  • Maximize the value of each dollar the DoD spends through the analysis of funding data, work in progress and IR&D to identify gaps, challenges and the way forward

DoD Public Access Search: Search DoD funded public access journal articles from selected publishers

DoD Plan to Establish Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research

Joint Electronic Library


Defense Threat Reduction Agency LogoDefense Threat Reduction Agency: DTRA focus is to keep WMD out of the hands of terrorists and other enemies by locking down, monitoring, and destroying weapons and weapons related materials. DTRA also assistS Combatant Commanders with their plans and responses to WMD events and develop and deliver cutting-edge technologies to assist with all of these endeavors. 


Joint Chiefs of Staff LogoJoint Chiefs of Staff: JCS consists of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau. Responsibilities as members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff take precedence over duties as the Chiefs of Military Services. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military adviser to the President, Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council (NSC), however, all JCS members are by law military advisers, and they may respond to a request or voluntarily submit, through the Chairman, advice or opinions to the President, the Secretary of Defense, or NSC.


Military Health System LogoMilitary Health System / Defense Health Agency : On the battlefield, every element of the MHS comes together to make the difference between life and death. Army, Navy and Air Force medical professionals help ensure those in uniform are medically ready to deploy anywhere around the globe on a moment's notice. And these medical professionals are also ready to go with them. The MHS, however, is more than combat medicine. It’s a complex system that weaves together:

  • Health care delivery
  • Medical education
  • Public health
  • Private sector partnerships
  • Cutting edge medical research and development

The MHS is led by office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs under the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

Defense Health Agency LogoDefense Health Agency: DHA is a joint, integrated Combat Support Agency that enables the Army, Navy, and Air Force medical services to provide a medically ready force and ready medical force to Combatant Commands in both peacetime and wartime. The DHA supports the delivery of integrated, affordable, and high quality health services to MHS beneficiaries and is responsible for driving greater integration of clinical and business processes across the MHS.

Reference Center


Military Postal Service Agency LogoMilitary Postal Service Agency: Section 406 of Title 39 U.S. Code provides the legal authority to establish Armed Forces post offices abroad and to provide postal services to members of the Armed Forces and DoD civilians, including their accompanying family members. The DoD and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Postal Agreement (USPS Pub 38) establishes the Military Postal Service (MPS) as an extension of the USPS abroad. MPSA mission is to achieve efficient and responsive processing, transportation, and distribution of personal and official mail within the DoD.

Personnel Locator


Missile Defense Agency LogoMissile Defense Agency : MDA is a research, development, and acquisition agency within the DoD. The workforce includes government civilians, military service members, and contractor personnel in multiple locations across the U.S. They are focused on retaining and recruiting a dedicated workforce interested in supporting our national security. The MDA mission is to develop, test, and field an integrated, layered, ballistic missile defense system (BMDS) to defend the U.S., its deployed forces, allies, and friends against all ranges of enemy ballistic missiles in all phases of flight.


National Defense University LogoNational Defense University: Vision: NDU will be the premier national security institution focused on advanced joint education, leader development and scholarship. Mission: NDU supports the joint warfighter by providing rigorous Joint Professional Military Education to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and select others in order to develop leaders that have the ability to operate and creatively think in an unpredictable and complex world. Purpose: "Educating, Developing and Inspiring National Security Leaders."


National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency LogoNational Geospatial-Intelligence Agency: NGA delivers world-class geospatial intelligence that provides a decisive advantage to policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals and first responders. NGA enables all of these critical actions and shapes decisions that impact our world through the indispensable discipline of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT). NGA is a unique combination of intelligence agency and combat support agency. NGA enables the U.S. intelligence community and the DoD to fulfill the president’s national security priorities to protect the nation.


Central Service Agency LogoNational Security Agency LogoNational Security Agency / Central Security Service: The NSA/CSS leads the U.S. Government in cryptology that encompasses both Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Information Assurance (IA) products and services, and enables Computer Network Operations (CNO) in order to gain a decision advantage for the Nation and our allies under all circumstances.


Office of Inspector General LogoOffice of Inspector General : The mission of DoD IG; as established by the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, (5 U.S.C. Appendix); and implemented by DoD Directive 5106.01, "Inspector General of the Department of Defense," is to serve as an independent and objective office in DoD to:

♦ conduct, supervise, monitor, and initiate audits, evaluations, and investigations relating to programs and operations of the DoD,
♦ provide leadership and coordination and recommend policies for activities designed to promote economy, efficiency, and
   effectiveness in the administration of, and to prevent and detect fraud and abuse in, such programs and operations,
♦ provide a means for keeping the secretary of defense and the Congress fully and currently informed about problems and
   deficiencies relating to the administration of such programs and operations and the necessity for and progress of corrective
♦ promote national security by conducting objective and independent audits, investigations, and other activities to prevent, detect
   and rectify problems in DoD programs and operations, and to identify opportunities for improving efficiency.


Office of the General Counsel LogoOffice of the General Counsel: The Office of the General Counsel is headed by the General Counsel of the DoD. Appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, the General Counsel is by law the Chief Legal Officer of the DoD (10 U.S.C. § 140). The General Counsel is responsible for the following functional areas:

Provide advice to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense regarding all legal matters and services
   performed within, or involving, the DoD.
Provide legal advice to OSD organizations and, as appropriate, other DoD Components.

Oversee, as appropriate, legal services performed within the DoD, including determining the adherence by attorneys in the Dod to
   appropriate professional standards.
Coordinate on appeals from denial of requests under the Freedom of Information Act, as appropriate.
Provide advice on standards of conduct involving personnel of OSD and, as appropriate, other DoD components.
Develop the DoD Legislative Program and coordinate DoD positions on legislation and Executive Orders.
Provide for the coordination of significant legal issues, including litigation involving the DoD and other matters before the
   Department of Justice in which DoD has an interest.
Establish DoD policy on general legal issues, determine the DoD positions on specific legal problems, and resolve disagreements
   within the DoD on such matters.
Perform such functions relating to the DoD security program (including surveillance over DoD personnel security programs) as the
   Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Defense may assign.
Act as lead counsel for the Department in all international negotiations conducted by OSD organizations.
Maintain the central repository for all international agreements coordinated, negotiated, or concluded by DoD personnel.


Pentagon Force Protection Agency LogoPentagon Force Protection Agency :PFPA is a civilian Defense Agency within the DoD charged with protecting and safeguarding the occupants, visitors, and infrastructure of the Pentagon, Mark Center, Defense Health Headquarters and other delegated Pentagon facilities. This critical mission is accomplished with law enforcement officers (U.S. Pentagon Police), criminal investigative and protective services agents; threat management agents; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives technicians; and anti-terrorism/force protection and physical security personnel. PFPA provides a variety of services to its customers to include emergency services, parking management, lock installation/services, classified waste disposal, access control, building pass issuance, mail screening, and law enforcement.


U.S. Strategic Command LogoStrategic Command: Located at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Neb. , U.S. Strategic Command is one of nine unified commands in the DoD. The USSTRATCOM commander is the leader, steward and advocate of the nation's strategic capabilities. USSTRATCOM integrates and coordinates the necessary command and control capability to provide support with the most accurate and timely information for the President, the Secretary of Defense, other national leadership and combatant commanders. USSTRATCOM combines the synergy of the U.S. legacy nuclear command and control mission with responsibility for space operations; global strike; global missile defense; and global command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR), and combating weapons of mass destruction.


U.S. Air Force LogoU.S. Air Force: The mission of the U.S. Air Force is to fly, fight and air, space and cyberspace. To achieve that mission, the Air Force has a vision: The U.S. Air Force will be a trusted and reliable joint partner with our sister services known for integrity in all of our activities, including supporting the joint mission first and foremost. We will provide compelling air, space, and cyber capabilities for use by the combatant commanders. We will excel as stewards of all Air Force resources in service to the American people, while providing precise and reliable Global Vigilance, Reach and Power for the nation.

Air Force 101


U.S. Army LogoU.S. Army : The U.S. Army’s mission is to fight and win our Nation’s wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders. We do this by:

Executing Title 10 and Title 32 U.S. Code directives, to include organizing, equipping, and training forces for the
   conduct of prompt and sustained combat operations on land.
Accomplishing missions assigned by the President, Secretary of Defense and combatant commanders, and Transforming for the future.

The Army, as one of the three military departments (Army, Navy and Air Force) reporting to the DoD, is composed of two distinct and equally important components: the active component and the reserve components. The reserve components are the United States Army Reserve and the Army National Guard.

Soldiers: The Official U.S. Army Magazine

Country Studies/Area Handbook Series: Oline versions of books previously published in hard copy by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress as part of the Country Studies/Area Handbook Series sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army between 1986 and 1998. Each study offers a comprehensive description and analysis of the country or region's historical setting, geography, society, economy, political system, and foreign policy.


U.S. Marine CorpsU.S. Marine Corps: The National Security Act of 1947 directed the Marine Corps to conduct:

♦ The seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and other land operations to support naval campaigns
♦ The development of tactcs, techniques and equipment used by amphibious landing forces
♦ Such other duties as the President may direct

U.S. Marine Corps: America's Expeditionary Force in Readiness

Marine Corps Publications Electronic Library


U.S. NavyU.S. Navy : The mission of the Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.


Washington Headquarters ServicesWashington Headquarters Services: WHS supports agencies, organizations, and personnel in the National Capital Region working with administration, buildings, facilities, finances, information technology, human resources, security, and transportation.


Air University Library: Index to Military Periodicals

Naval Postgraduate School: Dudley Knox Library: Military Information & Technology Guide

SCAMPI: Staff College Automated Military Periodical Index

World Military Expenditures & Arms Transfers: Annual military expenditures, arms transfers, armed forces, selected economic data, and relative indicators consisting of pertinent military-economic ratios.