United States Department of Defense

United States Department Of Defense

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United States Department of Defense

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The United States Department of Defense (USDOD, DOD or DoD, initially briefly referred to as the National Military Establishment or NME) is the U.S. federal department allocated the largest level of budgetary resources and charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the United States armed forces. The Department/Secretary of Defense is an evolution of the Department/Secretary of War, a change in nomenclature that has happened in many countries; e.g., the old UK War Office became the Ministry of Defence, the Argentine Ministerio de Guerra (war) became the Ministerio de Defensa, etc. The organization and functions of the DoD are set forth in Title 10 of the United States Code.

The DoD is the major tenant of The Pentagon building near Washington, D.C., and has three main components—the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Among the many DoD agencies are the Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the National Security Agency (NSA). The department also operates several joint service schools, including the National War College.


In 1945, specific plans for the proposed DoD were put forth by the Army, the Navy, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In a special message to Congress on 19 December 1945,...
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