Defense Media Activity

The Defense Media Activity (DMA) is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) field activity. It provides a broad range of high-quality multimedia products and services to inform, educate, and entertain Department of Defense audiences around the world.[1] The Defense Media Activity is located on Fort Meade, Maryland. DoD field activities are established as DoD components by law, by the President, or by the Secretary of Defense to provide for the performance, on a DoD-wide basis, of a supply or service activity that is common to more than one Military Department when it is determined to be more effective, economical, or efficient to do so.[2] DMA operates as a separate DoD Component under the authority, direction and control of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.

DMA main logo 2 color - medium
Logo for Defense Media Activity


The Defense Media Activity can trace its organizational lineage to the first publication of the Stars and Stripes newspaper produced by Union soldiers during the Civil War, in 1861. The DMA is one in a long line of media related organizations established, consolidated or subsumed within the military departments and defense department. DMA was established as a result of the BRAC 2005 decisions.

BRAC 2005

In 2005, as part of the Base Realignment and Closure 2005 analysis, the Defense Department recommended consolidating the media-related organizations of the Military Departments into a single organization and co-locating it with the American Forces Information Service (an existing DoD field activity).[3] The Defense Base Realignment and Closure(BRAC) Commission accepted the DoD recommendation and included the recommendation in its report to the President on September 8, 2005.[4] On September 8, 2005, the President approved the BRAC Commission recommendations and forwarded them to the United States Congress. On September 20, 2005, the U.S. Congress failed to disapprove the BRAC Commission's recommendations. Under the provisions of the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-510) the recommendations were effectively "approved".

The approved BRAC actions were to:

  • Realign Fort Belvoir, Virginia, by relocating Soldiers Magazine to Fort Meade, Maryland.
  • Realign Anacostia Annex, District of Columbia, by relocating the Naval Media Center to Fort Meade, Maryland.
  • Realign 2320 Mill Road, a leased installation in Alexandria, Virginia, by relocating Army Broadcasting-Soldier Radio/TV to Fort Meade, Maryland.
  • Realign 103 Norton Street, a leased installation in San Antonio, Texas by relocating Air Force News Agency and the Joint Hometown News Service to Fort Meade, Maryland.
  • Close 601 North Fairfax Street, a leased installation in Alexandria, Virginia, by relocating the American Forces Information Service and the Army Broadcasting-Soldier Radio/TV to Fort Meade, Maryland.
  • Consolidate Soldier Magazine, Naval Media Center, Army Broadcasting-Soldier Radio/TV, and the Air Force News Agency-Army/AirForce Hometown News Service into a single DoD Media Activity at Fort Meade, Maryland.


In September 2007, the deputy defense secretary recognized that the BRAC 2005 decision would result in two field activities co-located at Fort Meade – the American Forces Information Service and DMA – and directed several actions.[5]

  • Consolidate American Forces Information Service with DMA
  • Include the internal media elements of the U.S. Marine Corps that were not addressed in the BRAC 2005 decision
  • Establish DMA on January 1, 2008
  • Transfer the funds and people from the legacy organizations to DMA on October 1, 2009

DMA’s chartering directive, DoD Directive 5105.74, Defense Media Activity, was published on December 18, 2007.[6]

DMA was formally established on January 1, 2008, and the people and funding from the predecessor organizations was transferred to DMA on October 1, 2008. The elements required to move to Fort Meade by the BRAC 2005 decision remained in their facilities as their facility at Fort Meade was designed and constructed. The building design was completed in September 2008.

On March 13, 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, awarded a $56,195,000 contract to Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Chantilly, Virginia, to construct DMA’s headquarters and media production center Fort Meade, Maryland.[7] It is a 185,870 square-foot facility built to house approximately 660 personnel. The building was completed in May 2011 and organizations began moving into the facility in June 2011. The move was completed in August 2011. DMA elements located in the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Tobyhanna Army Depot, Riverside, California, and all overseas locations remained in place.

Organization And Functions

Organization and Functions[8] DMA is composed of a headquarters and seven operating components.

The American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) component delivers, via the American Forces Network (AFN), U.S. radio and television news, information, and entertainment programming to active, guard, and reserve military service members, DoD civilians and contract employees, and their families overseas, on board Navy and Coast Guard ships, and to other authorized users. Includes radio and television stations in military communities in Europe, Pacific and the Middle East; and include its central broadcasting hub, the AFN Broadcast Center at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California.

The Defense Information School provides joint-service training to Defense military and civilian personnel in the career fields of Public Affairs and Visual Information. The school is located at Fort Meade, Maryland.

The Defense Visual Information component manages the Defense Department’s visual information records, provides visual information services to other DoD components and manages the Joint Combat Camera program. It operates the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center (DIMOC)[9] centered at Fort Meade, Maryland, with elements at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California, and Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania.

The Production component produces media and visual information products to the internal DoD family (active, guard, and reserve military service members, dependents, retirees, DoD civilians, and contract employees) and external audiences through all available media, including motion and still imagery; print; radio; television; web and related emerging internet, mobile, and other communication technologies. Also includes communication of messages and themes from senior DoD leaders in order to support and improve quality of life and morale, promote situational awareness, provide timely and immediate force protection information, and sustain readiness. Services include American Forces Press Service, Pentagon Channel, the Joint Hometown News Service, and providing internal news and information products for,,,, and

The Stars and Stripes produces and delivers a newspaper distributed overseas (and on-line products) for the U.S. military community. Editorially independent of interference from outside its own editorial chain of command, it provides commercially available U.S. and world news and objective staff-produced stories relevant to the military community.

The Support Services component provides activity-wide administrative, facility management, transportation and logistics services.

The Technical Services component provides technology services to the other DMA components, hosts hundreds of DoD web sites through the DoD Public Web program[10], Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS), and the Television-Audio Support Activity (T-ASA).[11]


DMA is led by a director appointed by the ASD (PA) and may be a military flag or general officer, or a civilian appointed as a career member of the Senior Executive Service. The following is a list of DMA’s directors.

  • November 1, 2018, to present, (Acting Director) COL Paul R. Haverstick, Jr.
  • February 1, 2018, to November 1, 2018, (Acting Director) COL Bernard Koelsch
  • February 11, 2013, to February 1, 2018, Ray B. Shepherd[12]
  • May 1, 2012 – February 10, 2013, (Acting Director) Bryan G. Whitman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs[13]
  • October 14, 2009 – April 30, 2012, (Acting Director), Melvin W. Russell, Director, American Forces Radio and Television Service, DMA[14]
  • March 29, 2009 – October 13, 2009, David S. Jackson[15]
  • March 10, 2008 – March 28, 2009, (Acting Director) Robert T. Hastings, Jr., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
  • January 1, 2008 – March 9, 2008, (Acting Director) Bryan G. Whitman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations

External links


  1. ^ "Our Mission",, retrieved 2013-07-24.
  2. ^ "Department of Defense Directive 5100.01, Functions of the Department of Defense and Its Major Components", dated December 21, 2010.
  3. ^ "Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Report", Volume I, Part 2 of 2: Detailed Recommendations, May 2005, page H&SA - 30.
  4. ^ "2005 Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission Report", page 212. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  5. ^ Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, “Establishment of the Defense Media Activity”, dated September 24, 2007.
  6. ^ DoD Directive 5105.74, "Defense Media Activity", dated December 18, 2007,
  7. ^ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, "News Release", dated March 13, 2009.
  8. ^ "Defense Media Activity Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2014-2017", August 2013.
  9. ^ "About Us", retrieved 2013-10-5.
  10. ^ "About DMA" and "DoD Public Web", retrieved 2013-10-5.
  11. ^ "Television-Audio Support Activity", retrieved 2013-10-5.
  12. ^ "About DMA" and "Leadership" retrieved 2013-10-5.
  13. ^ U.S. Defense Department "Biographies of Senior Defense Officials" retrieved 2013-10-5.
  14. ^ "DMA News and Events", archive page retrieved 2013-10-5.
  15. ^ U.S. Defense Department, "Biographies of Senior Defense Officials", retrieved 2013-10-5.</
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

The Air Force Public Affairs Agency (AFPAA) is a United States Air Force field operating agency headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Headquarters AFPAA consists of two directorates, the Directorates of Staff and Operations. Additionally, AFPAA is accountable for two Combat Camera Squadrons and six Operating Locations. The Directorate of Staff includes Financial Management, IT Support, Knowledge Operations, Logistics, and Personnel and Training. The Directorate of Operations includes Branding, Trademark and Licensing, Public Web, Plans and Programs, and career field development courses writers.

The agency oversees the 1st Combat Camera Squadron and 4th Combat Camera Squadron co-located at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina; the 3rd Combat Camera Squadron located at JB San Antonio-Lackland, Texas; and the Air Force's tier 1 video production facility AFPAA OL-H, located at Hill AFB, Utah.

The agency provides administrative and logistical support to six field offices across the United States. These include a command information branch at the Pentagon; Public Affairs assignment managers at the Air Force Personnel Center, JB San Antonio-Randolph, Texas; the Air Force Media Engagement Office in New York City; the Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office in Los Angeles; and the Combat Camera Detachment at Hurlbert AFB, Florida.

Combined, these offices and units encompass representatives from all specialties within the Public Affairs career field, and are charged with a multitude of unique public affairs responsibilities including: providing imagery documentation of Air Force warfighter and humanitarian relief missions; audiovisual production support; the public affairs visual information equipment purchasing program, the public web program, the branding and trademark licensing program, and serving as the Air Force's primary liaison to the Defense Media Activity on Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System and the American Forces Public Information Management System. Additionally, AFPAA serves as the sole force provider for combat camera forces in the Air Force. AFPAA also provides career-field support through the development of career development courses for the Air Force's nearly 5,500 public affairs practitioners.

Airman Magazine

Airman Magazine is the official magazine of the United States Air Force and reports on information and news about and of interest to Air Force members and their families. It is published bi-monthly online by the Defense Media Activity group. Airman would also publish The Book annually, a summary of basic Air Force facts, including weapons and aircraft, but had discontinued doing so after 2011.

All Hands

All Hands was a monthly published magazine of the United States Navy for its sailors. It had been published since August 1922 under different names; the current title was established in 1945. Its last issue was published on December 2011, although it continues to be published online.

The magazine was free of charge. The publisher was the former Naval Media Center in Washington, D.C. Shortly before the magazine's demise, publication operations moved to Defense Media Activity in Fort George G. Meade, Maryland in August, 2011.All Hands Magazine was brought back as a digital web-based publication in February 2013. It can be read online at

American Forces Information Service

The American Forces Information Service (AFIS) was a United States Department of Defense-providing news service that supplied information about the U.S. military. Department of Defense Directive 5105.74 disestablished AFIS on October 1, 2008, and created the Defense Media Activity. The DMA provides news stories about military operations worldwide and includes all the military service media centers, Stars and Stripes newspapers as well as the American Forces Radio and Television Service and its American Forces Network (AFN).

American Forces Network

The American Forces Network (AFN) is the broadcast service operated by the United States Armed Forces' American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS, commonly pronounced "A-farts") for its entertainment and command internal information networks worldwide. The AFN worldwide radio and television broadcast network serves American servicemembers, Department of Defense and other U.S. government civilians and their families stationed at bases overseas, as well as U.S. Navy ships at sea. AFN broadcasts popular American radio and television programs from the major U.S. networks. It is sometimes referred to as the Armed Forces Network. AFRTS, American Forces Network and AFN are registered trademarks of the U.S. Department of Defense. It is based at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland and is part of the Defense Media Activity.

Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs

The Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, or ATSD(PA), is the principal staff advisor and assistant to the Secretary of Defense and Deputy Secretary of Defense for public information, internal information, community relations, information training, and audiovisual matters in support of Department of Defense activities, leading a worldwide public affairs community of some 3,800 military and civilian personnel. The Assistant to the Secretary follows the Secretary's Principles of Information in providing Defense Department information to the public, the United States Congress and the media.

Prior to October 2012, the position was known as the "Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs", and was retitled in response to the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011.The ATSD(PA) is the principal but not the sole spokesperson for the Department. In July 2011, the ASD(PA) announced the appointment of two additional spokespersons for the Department. George E. Little, one of two Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense for Public Affairs, served concurrently as the Pentagon Press Secretary. Little stepped down Nov. 15, 2013. Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby served alongside Little as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations and Spokesman. Kirby stepped down as spokesman in February 2015. Both Little and Kirby served as spokespeople for the Secretary of Defense and for the Department.

Biggs Army Airfield

Biggs Army Airfield (IATA: BIF, ICAO: KBIF, FAA LID: BIF) (formerly Biggs Air Force Base) is a United States Army military airport located on the Fort Bliss military base in El Paso, Texas.

Bolling Air Force Base

Bolling Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Washington, D.C. In 2010 it was merged with Naval Support Facility Anacostia to form Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling.

Chaplain of the United States Marine Corps

The Chaplain of the United States Marine Corps (CHMC) is a position always filled by the officer serving as Deputy Chief of Chaplains of the United States Navy as a "dual hatted" billet since 2000. The CHMC oversees religious ministry in the Marine Corps which one Commandant of the Marine Corps defined as "a vital function which enhances the personal, family, and community readiness of our Marines, sailors, and their families. Chaplaincy supports the foundational principle of free exercise of religion and helps to enrich the spiritual, moral and ethical fabric of the military."The current CHMC is Rear Admiral (lower half) Gregory N. Todd. He was sworn in on June 21, 2018.

Commander, Navy Installations Command

Navy Installations Command (CNIC) is an Echelon II shore command responsible for all shore installations under the control of the United States Navy. As an Echelon II command, it reports directly to the Chief of Naval Operations. It is responsible for the operation and management of all Naval installations worldwide through eleven Navy Regions.

Defense Threat Reduction Agency

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is an agency within the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and is the official Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high explosives). According to the agency's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2018 to 2022, the DTRA mission "enables DoD and the U.S. Government to prepare for and combat weapons of mass destruction and improvised threats and to ensure nuclear deterrence." The agency is headquartered in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Defense Visual Information Distribution Service

The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS), formerly the "Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System," is an operation supported by the Defense Media Activity (DMA). It provides a connection between world media and the American military personnel serving at home and abroad. It supports all branches of the U.S. military as well as its coalition partners in the Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility.

DoD News Channel

DoD News Channel was a television channel broadcasting military news and information for the 2.6 million members of the U.S. Armed Forces. It was widely available in the United States as a standalone television channel, or as part of programming on local PEG cable television channels. It could be viewed FTA in most Central and Western European countries (from Eurobird 9A at 9.0° East), Africa, the Americas and most of Asia via satellite, and globally via the Internet. DoD News Channel was free, in the public domain, and accessible 24/7 to all U.S. cable and satellite providers.

The channel was founded in 2004 as The Pentagon Channel. On July 8, 2014, The Pentagon Channel was rebranded as the DoD News Channel. The channel ceased operations on April 17, 2015. However, content will still be produced for the American Forces Network and the website

Fort George G. Meade

Fort George G. Meade is a United States Army installation located in Maryland, that includes the Defense Information School, the Defense Media Activity, the United States Army Field Band, and the headquarters of United States Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, the Defense Courier Service, Defense Information Systems Agency headquarters and the U.S. Navy's Cryptologic Warfare Group Six. It is named for George G. Meade, a general from the U.S. Civil War, who served as commander of the Army of the Potomac. The fort's smaller census-designated place includes support facilities such as schools, housing, and the offices of the Military Intelligence Civilian Excepted Career Program (MICECP).

Iraq Campaign Medal

The Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces which was created by Executive Order 13363 of U.S. President George W. Bush on 29 November 2004, and became available for general distribution in June 2005. The medal was designed by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry and was awarded during the Iraq War, from 29 November 2004 to 31 December 2011.

Jeju Civilian-Military Complex Port

The Jeju Civilian-Military Complex Port (Hangul: 제주 민군복합형관광미항; Hanja:濟州民軍複合型觀光美港) or Jeju Naval Base (Hangul: 제주 해군기지; Hanja:濟州海軍基地) is a joint civil and Republic of Korea Navy base constructed by the South Korean government in Gangjeong village on the southern coast of Jeju Island (coterminous with Jeju Province, or Jeju-do), South Korea. Construction of the base at a projected cost, as of 2011, of ₩977 billion or about US$907 million proved highly controversial. By 2011, construction had been halted seven times by protesters concerned about the base's environmental impact and who saw it as a US-driven project aimed at China, rather than enhancing South Korean defense. In July 2012, the South Korean Supreme Court upheld the base's construction. It is expected to host up to 20 military vessels and occasional civilian cruise ships.

Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization

The Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO) is a combat support organization of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) organization under the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) that deals with improvised threats such as the improvised explosive device (IEDs) and small unmanned aerial systems (sUASs). JIDO was born from the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) established in 2006, which focused on IEDs. JIDO's mission is to "enable Department of Defense actions to counter improvised threats with tactical responsiveness and anticipatory acquisition in support of combatant commanders' efforts to prepare for, and adapt to, battlefield surprise." This mission supports counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency and other related mission areas including Counter-IED.The change from JIEDDO to JIDA occurred when Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work approved an organizational realignment of JIEDDO from a joint wartime activity to a combat support agency under the authority, direction and control of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD(AT&L)). Under the 2016 Defense Authorization Act, DoD was directed to move JIDA to a military department or under an existing defense agency. DoD decided to reclassify JIDA as an organization under DTRA. On September 30, 2016, JIDA moved under DTRA and officially changed its name to JIDO to reflect the change from an Agency to an Organization.

Stars and Stripes (newspaper)

Stars and Stripes is an American military newspaper that focuses and reports on matters concerning the members of the United States Armed Forces. It operates from inside the Department of Defense, but is editorially separate from it, and its First Amendment protection is safeguarded by the United States Congress, to whom an independent ombudsman, who serves the readers' interests, regularly reports. As well as a website, Stars and Stripes publishes four daily print editions for the military service members serving overseas; these European, Middle Eastern, Japanese, and South Korean editions are also available as free downloads in electronic format, and there are also seven digital editions. The newspaper has its headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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