U.S. Department of Defense
|Department of Defense|
|Deputy Secretary:||William J. Lynn III|
|Annual budget:||$613.9 billion (2013)|
|Total employed:||3.2 million|
With over 3.2 million employees including civilian staff and enlisted combat forces, the Department of Defense is the largest employer in the world. Major divisions of the Department include the United States Army, Navy and Air Force. The Department of Defense utilizes over 5,000 individual sites around the world totaling over 30 million acres of land. The Department's operating budget for fiscal year 2012 was $645 billion.
In 1789, the War Department was formed. Then Navy Department was created in 1798. The secretaries of each department were members of the president's cabinet. The Department of the Air Force was created in 1947, the same year the War Department was re-named the Department of the Army under the National Military Establishment. All three branches of the military were then placed under the control of the new Secretary of Defense. In 1949, the National Security Act was amended to withdraw cabinet status from the secretaries of the three branches, consolidating the military into the Department of Defense. The Joint Chiefs of Staff was established to coordinate forces under the newly created Secretary of Defense position.
Construction of the Pentagon began on September 11, 1941, and it officially opened on January 14, 1943. It was believed to be a short-term necessity during World War II; however, as the United States continued to expand its military presence throughout the world, the Pentagon remained the headquarters for the Department of Defense. It is one of the world's largest office building with triple the amount of floor space of the Empire State Building in New York City to house about 23,000 employees.
In the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, a hijacked airliner was flown into the building, killing 189 and doing extensive damage to the structure.
The Department of Defense website states: "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 President is ultimately responsible for the decisions made regarding the United States' national defense. The President coordinates with the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council to decide security needs as well as necessary plans of action. Those policies are then delegated by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The:
- military departments (Army, Navy and Air Force) carry out training and equipping military forces,
- the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff coordinates deployments and operations and
- the Unified Combatant Commands direct military operations.
|Secretaries of Defense Full History|
|Secretary of Defense||Years in office||Nominated by||Confirmation vote|
|James V. Forrestal||1947-1949||Harry Truman||N/A|
|Louis A. Johnson||1949-1950||Harry Truman||N/A|
|George C. Marshall||1950-1951||Harry Truman|
|Robert A. Lovett||1951-1953||Harry Truman|
|Charles E. Wilson||1953-1957||Dwight Eisenhower|
|Neil H. McElroy||1957-1959||Dwight Eisenhower|
|Thomas E. Gates||1959-1961||Dwight Eisenhower|
|Robert S. McNamara||1961-1968||John F. Kennedy|
|Clark M. Clifford||1968-1969||Lyndon Johnson||N/A|
|Melvin R. Laird||1969-1973||Richard Nixon||N/A|
|Elliot L. Richardson||1973||Richard Nixon||81-1|
|James R. Schlesinger||1973-1975||Richard Nixon||91-0|
|Donald H. Rumsfeld||1975-1977||Gerald Ford||95-2|
|Harold Brown||1977-1981||James Carter||N/A|
|Caspar W. Weinberger||1981-1987||Ronald Reagan||97-2|
|Frank C. Carlucci||1987-1989||Ronald Reagan||91-1|
|John Tower||Disapproved||George H.W. Bush||47-53|
|Richard B. Cheney||1989-1993||George H.W. Bush||92-0|
|Les Aspin||1993-1994||William Clinton||N/A|
|William J. Perry||1994-1997||William Clinton||97-0|
|William S. Cohen||1997-2001||William Clinton||99-0|
|Donald H. Rumsfeld||2001-2006||George W. Bush||N/A|
|Robert M. Gates||2006-2011||George W. Bush||95-2|
|Leon E. Panetta||2011-2013||Barack Obama||100-0|
|Chuck Hagel||2013-Present||Barack Obama||58-41|
Note: Votes listed as "N/A" were conducted as voice votes or were unrecorded votes. Votes not listed will be added as they are researched.
Office of the Secretary of Defense
The office of the Secretary of Defense is primarily in place to be the government liaison of the Department. They develop policy, manage resources, provide oversight and exchange information with other government entities both domestic and foreign. Additionally the office provides oversight of defense agencies and field activities.
Office of the Inspector General
The Inspector General's office of the Department of Defense is an independent office in the department charged with auditing and investigating programs and operations of the Department.
Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of staff advise the President and Secretary of Defense on military matters relating to their respective departments.
Unified Combatant Commands
Commanders of the Combatant Commands carry out the missions assigned by the President and Secretary of Defense. The directives of the President and Secretary of Defense are passed down to the commanders by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force are organized under their own secretaries and follow the direction of the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of Defense updates the department secretaries on operations and activities regarding their responsibilities.
The Best Places to work in the Federal Government is a website that tracks workforce trends in federal agencies. According to their analysis, from 2005-2011, the Department of Defense has added an average of 1910 jobs per year. This average does not include Army, Navy or Air Force enlistment.
The sequestration in 2013 resulted in the budget of the Department being lowered by as much as $41 billion for the 2013 fiscal year. According to the an update released by the comptroller and chief financial officer in April 2013, the Department decided to protect wartime operations funding. Their plan of action included civilian hiring freezes, cutting travel and conference costs, lowering facility and base operating and maintenance costs and reviewing or delaying contracts. Additionally, there were training cutbacks and furloughs for civilian employees. The furloughs, originally thought to be 22 days, were cut to 11 when Secretary Hagel announced the decision on May 14. The cuts impacted 680,000 civilian employees, saving the Department $1.8 billion. On August 6, Hagel dropped the number of furlough days once again from 11 days to 6.
In July 2013, Hagel warned that if sequestration cuts continued in the 2014 fiscal year, likely totaling an additional $52 billion, measures such as civilian layoffs and recruiting freezes would be necessary. Critics claim, however, that Hagel is merely posturing as similar claims were made when the 2013 cuts were announced.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term U.S. + Department + Defense
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Top Gun: Christine Fox now highest-ranking woman in US Defense Dept. - Christian Science Monitor
- S Korea consulted US ahead of expanded air defense zone - US State Department - The Voice of Russia
- NewSat Signs $1.1 M Contract With US Department of Defense - Satellite Today
- Is the Department of Defense Planning to Close Commissaries? - NBC 7 San Diego
- US Department of Defense releases nation's Arctic strategy - Alaska Dispatch
- US calls on China to rescind air defence zone to avoid Japan confrontation - The Guardian
- Bishop Heelan grad wins US Department of Defense honor - Sioux City Journal
- US needs millions more to complete Afghanistan's 'Pentagon' - Washington Post
- Chuck Hagel Offers Troops Rare Hope On Defense Budget - Huffington Post
- Defense Department gives local police equipment designed for a war zone - Fox News
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- Official Department of Defense website
- Department of Defense blog
- Official Facebook page
- Official Twitter page
- Official Youtube channel
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Department of Defense, "About the Department of Defense," accessed July 1, 2013
- ↑ BBC, "Which is the world's biggest employer?," March 19, 2012
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Department of Defense, "DoD 101," accessed July 3, 2013
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Department of Defense, "Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request," accessed July 3, 2013
- ↑ Washington Post, "Defense Department," accessed July 3, 2013
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 History.com, "Pentagon," accessed July 3, 2013
- ↑ Historical Office of the Secretary of Defense, "History of the Pentagon," accessed July 1, 2013
- ↑ Pentagon Tours, "Facts," accessed July 3, 2013
- ↑ U.S. Department of Defense, "Chuck Hagel," accessed May 29, 2013
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Department of Defense, "Directive Number 5100.01," December 21, 2010
- ↑ Department of Defense, "DOD Releases Fiscal 2013 Budget Proposal," February 13, 2012
- ↑ Department of Defense, "DOD Releases Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Proposal," April 10, 2013
- ↑ Department of Defense, "Addendum A: Overseas Contingency Operations," May 2013
- ↑ The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, "Agency Report: Department of Defense," accessed July 10, 2013
- ↑ ABC News, "Defense Dept Furloughs Cut to 11 Days," May 14, 2013
- ↑ Department of Defense, "Hagel announces reduction in civilian furlough days," August 6, 2013
- ↑ Federal Times, "Hagel: Civilian layoffs if sequester cuts continue in 2014," July 11, 2013