The Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD, or DOD) is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government concerned directly with national security and the United States Armed Forces. The department is the largest employer in the world, with nearly 1.3 million active duty servicemen and women[a] as of 2016. Adding to its employees are over 826,000 National Guardsmen and Reservists from the four services,[b] and over 732,000 civilians bringing the total to over 2.8 million employees. Headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., the DoD's stated mission is to provide "the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security".
The Department of Defense is headed by the Secretary of Defense, a cabinet-level head who reports directly to the President of the United States. Beneath the Department of Defense are three subordinate military departments: the United States Department of the Army, the United States Department of the Navy, and the United States Department of the Air Force. In addition, four national intelligence services are subordinate to the Department of Defense: the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Other Defense Agencies include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the Defense Health Agency (DHA), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the Defense Security Service (DSS), and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), all of which are under the command of the Secretary of Defense. Additionally, the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) provides acquisition insight that matters, by delivering actionable acquisition intelligence from factory floor to the warfighter. Military operations are managed by ten regional or functional Unified combatant commands. The Department of Defense also operates several joint services schools, including the National Defense University (NDU) and the National War College (NWC).
|United States Department of Defense|
|Formed||18 September 1947 (as National Military Establishment)|
|Jurisdiction||U.S. federal government|
Arlington, Virginia, U.S.
1,300,000 (active duty military)
826,000 (National Guard and reserve): 2.86 million total (2018)
|Annual budget||$686.1 billion (2019) - Discretionary |
The history of the defense of the United States started with the Continental Congress in 1775. The creation of the United States Army was enacted on 14 June 1775. This coincides with the American holiday Flag Day. The Second Continental Congress would charter the United States Navy, on 13 October 1775, and create the United States Marine Corps on 10 November 1775.
The Preamble of the United States Constitution gave the authority to the federal government to defend its citizens:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.— Constitution of the United States
Upon the seating of the first Congress on 4 March 1789, legislation to create a military defense force stagnated as they focused on other concerns relevant to setting up the new government. President George Washington went to Congress to remind them of their duty to establish a military twice during this time. Finally, on the last day of the session, 29 September 1789, Congress created the War Department, historic forerunner of the Department of Defense. The War Department handled naval affairs until Congress created the Navy Department in 1798. The secretaries of each of these departments reported directly to the president as cabinet-level advisors until 1949, when all military departments became subordinate to the Secretary of Defense.
After the end of World War II, President Harry Truman proposed creation of a unified department of national defense. In a special message to Congress on 19 December 1945, the President cited both wasteful military spending and inter-departmental conflicts. Deliberations in Congress went on for months focusing heavily on the role of the military in society and the threat of granting too much military power to the executive.
On 26 July 1947, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which set up a unified military command known as the "National Military Establishment", as well as creating the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, National Security Resources Board, United States Air Force (formerly the Army Air Forces) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The act placed the National Military Establishment under the control of a single Secretary of Defense. The National Military Establishment formally began operations on 18 September, the day after the Senate confirmed James V. Forrestal as the first Secretary of Defense. The National Military Establishment was renamed the "Department of Defense" on 10 August 1949 and absorbed the three cabinet-level military departments, in an amendment to the original 1947 law.
Under the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1958 (Pub.L. 85–599), channels of authority within the department were streamlined, while still maintaining the ordinary authority of the Military Departments to organize, train and equip their associated forces. The Act clarified the overall decision-making authority of the Secretary of Defense with respect to these subordinate Military Departments and more clearly defined the operational chain of command over U.S. military forces (created by the military departments) as running from the president to the Secretary of Defense and then to the unified combatant commanders. Also provided in this legislation was a centralized research authority, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, eventually known as DARPA. The act was written and promoted by the Eisenhower administration, and was signed into law 6 August 1958.
The Secretary of Defense, appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate, is by federal law (10 U.S.C. § 113) the head of the Department of Defense, "the principal assistant to the President in all matters relating to Department of Defense", and has "authority, direction and control over the Department of Defense". Because the Constitution vests all military authority in Congress and the president, the statutory authority of the Secretary of Defense is derived from their constitutional authorities. Since it is impractical for either Congress or the president to participate in every piece of Department of Defense affairs, the Secretary of Defense, and the secretary's subordinate officials generally, exercise military authority.
The Department of Defense is composed of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and the Joint Staff (JS), Office of the Inspector General (DODIG), the Combatant Commands, the Military Departments (Department of the Army (DA), Department of the Navy (DON) & Department of the Air Force (DAF)), the Defense Agencies and Department of Defense Field Activities, the National Guard Bureau (NGB), and such other offices, agencies, activities, organizations, and commands established or designated by law, or by the president or by the Secretary of Defense.
Department of Defense Directive 5100.01 describes the organizational relationships within the department, and is the foundational issuance for delineating the major functions of the department. The latest version, signed by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in December 2010, is the first major re-write since 1987.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is the secretary and deputy secretary's (mainly) civilian staff.
OSD is the principal staff element of the Secretary of Defense in the exercise of policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal and program evaluation and oversight, and interface and exchange with other U.S. Government departments and agencies, foreign governments, and international organizations, through formal and informal processes. OSD also performs oversight and management of the Defense Agencies and Department of Defense Field Activities.
OSD also supervises the following Defense Agencies:
Several defense agencies are members of the United States Intelligence Community. These are national-level intelligence services that operate under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense but simultaneously fall under the authorities of the Director of National Intelligence. They fulfill the requirements of national policy makers and war planners, serve as Combat Support Agencies, and also assist non-Department of Defense intelligence or law enforcement services such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The military services each have their own intelligence elements which are distinct from but subject to coordination, by national intelligence agencies under Department of Defense. Department of Defense manages the nation's coordinating authorities and assets in disciplines of signals intelligence, geospatial intelligence, and measurement and signature intelligence, and also builds, launches and operates the Intelligence Community's satellite assets. Department of Defense also has its own human intelligence service, which contributes to the CIA's human intelligence efforts while also focusing on military human intelligence priorities. These agencies are directly overseen by the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the president on military matters. The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by statute and consists of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman (SEAC), the Military Service Chiefs from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, in addition to the Chief of National Guard Bureau, all appointed by the president following Senate confirmation. Each of the individual Military Service Chiefs, outside their Joint Chiefs of Staff obligations, works directly for the Secretary of the Military Department concerned: the Secretary of the Army, Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of the Air Force.
Following the Goldwater-Nichols Act in 1986 the Joint Chiefs of Staff do not have operational command authority, neither individually nor collectively, as the chain of command goes from the president to the Secretary of Defense, and from the Secretary of Defense to the commanders of the Combatant Commands. Goldwater-Nichols also created the office of vice-chairman, and the chairman is now designated as the principal military adviser to the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and to the president.
The Joint Staff (JS) is a headquarters staff at the Pentagon made up of personnel from all four services that assist the Chairman and Vice Chairman in discharging their duties, and managed by the Director of the Joint Staff (DJS) who is a Lieutenant General or Vice Admiral.
There are three Military Departments within the Department of Defense:
The Military Departments are each headed by their own secretary (i.e., Secretary of the Army, Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of the Air Force), appointed by the president, with the advice and consent of the Senate. They have legal authority under Title 10 of the United States Code to conduct all the affairs of their respective departments within which the military services are organized. The secretaries of the Military Departments are (by law) subordinate to the Secretary of Defense and (by SecDef delegation) to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.
The secretaries of the Military Departments, in turn, normally exercises authority over their forces by delegation through their respective Service Chiefs (i.e., Chief of Staff of the Army, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Chief of Naval Operations, and Chief of Staff of the Air Force) over forces not assigned to a Combatant Command.
The secretaries of the Military Departments and the Service Chiefs do not possess operational command authority over U.S. troops (this power was stripped from them in the Defense Reorganization Act of 1958), and instead the Military Departments are tasked solely with "the training, provision of equipment, and administration of troops."
The Military Departments are responsible for equipping and training the troops to fight, while the Unified Combatant Commands are responsible for actual operational command of military forces. Almost all operational U.S. forces are under the authority of a Unified Command. The Unified Commands are governed by a Unified Command Plan, a frequently updated document (produced by the Department of Defense) which lays out the Command's mission, geographical/functional responsibilities, and force structure.
The Department of Defense accounts for the majority of federal discretionary spending. In FY 2010 the Department of Defense budgeted spending accounted for 21% of the U.S. Federal Budget, and 53% of federal discretionary spending, which represents funds not accounted for by pre-existing obligations. However, this does not include many military-related items that are outside the Defense Department budget, such as nuclear weapons research, maintenance, cleanup, and production, which is in the Department of Energy budget, Veterans Affairs, the Treasury Department's payments in pensions to military retirees and widows and their families, interest on debt incurred in past wars, or State Department financing of foreign arms sales and militarily-related development assistance. Neither does it include defense spending that is not military in nature, such as the Department of Homeland Security, counter-terrorism spending by the FBI, and intelligence-gathering spending by the NSA.
In the 2010 United States federal budget, the Department of Defense was allocated a base budget of $533.7 billion, with a further $75.5 billion adjustment in respect of 2009, and $130 billion for overseas contingencies. The subsequent 2010 Department of Defense Financial Report shows the total budgetary resources for fiscal year 2010 were $1.2 trillion. Of these resources, $1.1 trillion were obligated and $994 billion were disbursed, with the remaining resources relating to multi-year modernization projects requiring additional time to procure. After over a decade of non-compliance, Congress has established a deadline of Fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Defense to achieve audit readiness.
In 2015 the allocation for the Department of Defense was $585 billion, the highest level of budgetary resources among all Federal agencies, and this amounts to more than one-half of the annual Federal Expenditures in the United States federal budget discretionary budget.
On 9/28/2018, President Donald Trump signed the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R.6157) into law. On September 30, 2018, the FY2018 Budget expired and the FY2019 budget came into effect.
The FY2019 Budget for the Department of Defense is approximately $686,074,048,000 (Including Base + Overseas Contingency Operations + Emergency Funds) in discretionary spending and $8,992,000,000 in mandatory spending totaling $695,066,000,000
Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) David L. Norquist said in a hearing regarding the FY 2019 budget: "The overall number you often hear is $716 billion. That is the amount of funding for what is called national defense, the accounting code is 050, and includes more than simply the Department of Defense. It includes, for example, Department of Energy and others. That large a number, if you back out the $30 billion for non-defense agencies, you get to $686 billion. That is the funding for the Department of Defense, split between $617 billion in base and $69 billion in overseas contingency."
The Department of Defense budget encompasses the majority of the National Defense Budget of approximately $716.0 billion in discretionary spending and $10.8 billion in mandatory spending for a $726.8 billion total. Of the total, $708.1 billion falls under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Armed Services and Senate Armed Services Committee and is subject to authorization by the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The remaining $7.9 billion falls under the jurisdiction of other congressional committees.
The Department of Defense is unique in that it is one of the few federal entities where the majority of its funding falls into the discretionary category. The majority of the entire federal budget is mandatory, and much of the discretionary funding in the budget consists of DoD dollars.
|Base + OCO + Emergency||FY 2019|
|Operation and Maintenance||$283,544,068|
|Revolving and Management Funds||$1,557,305|
|Military Construction Bill||$11,384,037|
|Total Base + OCO + Emergency||$686,074,048|
*Numbers may not add due to rounding
In 2015, a Pentagon consulting firm performed an audit on the Department of Defense's budget. It found that there was $125 billion in wasteful spending that could be saved over the next five years without layoffs or reduction in military personnel. In 2016, The Washington Post uncovered that rather than taking the advice of the auditing firm, senior defense officials suppressed and hid the report from the public to avoid political scrutiny.
In June 2016, The Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense released a report that stated the United States Army made $6.5 trillion in wrongful adjustments to its accounting entries in 2015.
The Department of Defense was the largest single consumer of energy in the United States in 2006.
In FY 2006, the department used almost 30,000 gigawatt hours (GWH) of electricity, at a cost of almost $2.2 billion. The department's electricity use would supply enough electricity to power more than 2.6 million average American homes. In electricity consumption, if it were a country, the department would rank 58th in the world, using slightly less than Denmark and slightly more than Syria (CIA World Factbook, 2006).
The Department of Defense was responsible for 93% of all US government fuel consumption in 2007 (Department of the Air Force: 52%; Department of the Navy: 33%; Department of the Army: 7%; other Department components: 1%). The Department of Defense uses 4,600,000,000 US gallons (1.7×1010 L) of fuel annually, an average of 12,600,000 US gallons (48,000,000 L) of fuel per day. A large Army division may use about 6,000 US gallons (23,000 L) per day. According to the 2005 CIA World Factbook, if it were a country, the Department of Defense would rank 34th in the world in average daily oil use, coming in just behind Iraq and just ahead of Sweden. The Air Force is the largest user of fuel energy in the federal government. The Air Force uses 10% of the nation's aviation fuel. (JP-8 accounts for nearly 90% of its fuels.) This fuel usage breaks down as such: 82% jet fuel, 16% facility management and 2% ground vehicle/equipment.
In the latest Center for Effective Government analysis of 15 federal agencies which receive the most Freedom of Information Act (United States) (FOIA) requests, published in 2015 (using 2012 and 2013 data, the most recent years available), the DoD earned a D− by scoring 61 out of a possible 100 points, i.e. did not earn a satisfactory overall grade. While it had improved from a failing grade in 2013, it still had low scores in processing requests (55%) and their disclosure rules (42%).
The organization and functions of the Department of Defense are in Title 10 of the United States Code.
Other significant legislation related to the Department of Defense includes:
An Act to recognize and adapt to the Constitution of the United States the establishment of the Troops raised under the Resolves of the United Stales in Congress assembled, and for other purposes therein mentioned.
The Administrative Review Board is a United States military body that conducts an annual review of the detainees held by the United States in Camp Delta in the United States Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The purpose of the Board is to review whether the detainees still represent a threat. American President George W. Bush initially called the detainees "illegal combatants."
But, without a formal announcement of the policy change, the Bush Presidency changed their description to "enemy combatant". From July 2004 through March 2005, military authorities conducted a one-time Combatant Status Review Tribunal for each detainee, to confirm whether they had been properly been classified as an "enemy combatant".
The Combatant Status Reviews were criticized by human rights workers because the detainees were not entitled to legal counsel, and did not know what allegations they had to defend themselves against, and the detainees had no presumption of innocence. The ARB was created in an attempt to mitigate the harsh results of potentially indefinite detention by allowing an annual review to determine whether the enemy combatant should still be detained.
The Combatant Status Reviews determined that 38 detainees were not illegal combatants after all. They determined that the rest of the detainees had been correctly classified as "enemy combatants" during their original, secret, classifications.
The first set of Administrative Reviews took place between December 14, 2004 and December 23, 2005. The Boards met to consider the cases of al 463 eligible detainees. They recommended the release of 14 detainees, and the repatriation of 120 detainees to the custody of the authorities in their home countries.
As of January 2017, 45 detainees remain at Guantanamo.The United States Department of Defense (DoD) was under a court order from United States District Court Judge Jed Rakoff to release the names of all the detainees by 6:00 p.m. EST on March 3, 2006. The Department of Defense ("DOD") did not meet this deadline. They delivered a CD-ROM with approximately 5,000 pages of documents at 6:20 pm. DoD had to take that CD-ROM back and issue a second copy that with redacted files that DoD decided not to release.Black project
A black project is a term used for a highly classified military or defense project publicly unacknowledged by government, military personnel, and contractors. Examples of United States military aircraft developed as black projects include the F-117 Nighthawk stealth attack aircraft and the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, both of which were highly classified and denied as existing until ready to be announced to the public. In the United States, the formal term for a black project is Special access program (SAP).
The money that funds these projects is referred to as the black budget.Central Security Service
The Central Security Service (CSS) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense, which was established in 1972 to integrate the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Service Cryptologic Elements (SCE) of the United States Armed Forces in the field of signals intelligence, cryptology and information assurance at the tactical level. In 2002, the CSS had about 25,000 uniformed members.Defense Distinguished Service Medal
The Defense Distinguished Service Medal is a United States military award which is presented for exceptionally distinguished performance of duty contributing to the national security or defense of the United States. The medal was created on July 9, 1970, by President Richard Nixon in Executive Order 11545.Defense Meritorious Service Medal
The Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM) is an award bestowed upon members of the United States military by the United States Department of Defense. In the order of precedence of the United States Armed Forces, it is worn between the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal. The medal is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense to members of the Armed Forces who, while serving in a joint activity, distinguish themselves by non-combat outstanding achievement or meritorious service, but not of a degree to warrant award of the Defense Superior Service Medal.
The medal is not the same as the Meritorious Service Medal, which is a separate federal military decoration. Both have virtually identical award criteria, but the DMSM is awarded to service members assigned to joint, multi-service organizations, while the MSM is awarded to service members in traditional military units within their respective individual services.Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is an agency within the United States Department of Defense whose mission is to recover missing personnel who are listed as Prisoners of War (POW), or Missing In Action (MIA), from all past wars and conflicts and from countries around the world. It was formed on January 30, 2015, as the result of a merger of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, and parts of the Air Force's Life Sciences Lab. Currently, DPAA is in a corporative agreement with The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc.Defense Security Cooperation Agency
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), as part of the United States Department of Defense (DoD), provides financial and technical assistance, transfer of defense matériel, training and services to allies, and promotes military-to-military contacts.
Security Cooperation (SC) is founded on a tradition of cooperation between the United States and other sovereign nations with similar values and interests in order to meet common defense goals. It consists of a group of programs authorized by the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, and the Arms Export Control Act, as amended, and related statutes by which the DoD or commercial contractor provide defense articles and services in furtherance of national policies and objectives.Defense Superior Service Medal
The Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM) is a senior American military decoration of the Department of Defense, awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who perform "superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility".
The decoration is most often presented to senior officers in the flag and general officer grades, followed by a lesser number of colonels and USN and USCG captains. The medal is presented in the name of the Secretary of Defense and was established by President Gerald R. Ford on February 6, 1976, in Executive Order 11904. It is analogous to the Legion of Merit, albeit awarded for service in a "joint" duty capacity.Defense Technical Information Center
The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC, pronounced "Dee-tick") is the repository for research and engineering information for the United States Department of Defense (DoD). DTIC's services are available to DoD personnel, federal government personnel, federal contractors and selected academic institutions. The general public can access unclassified, unlimited information through its public web site, DTIC Online.
DTIC's collections contain over 4 million documents that include technical reports, research in progress and independent research and development (IR&D) summaries. DTIC also publishes searchable Congressional budget data shortly after its release from Congress. DTIC acquires approximately 25,000 new documents each year.On June 4, 2004, DTIC became a DoD Field Activity under the management of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, reporting to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)). Mr. Christopher Thomas is the Administrator. With the creation of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, DTIC now reports to the Director Defense Research and Engineering (DDRE) Research and Technology (DDRE/RT).
DTIC's mission statement is "To provide essential, technical research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E) information rapidly, accurately and reliably to support our DoD customers' needs."Joint Meritorious Unit Award
The Joint Meritorious Unit Award (JMUA) is a military award that was established on June 4, 1981 by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and was implemented by Department of Defense Directive 1348.27 dated July 22, 1982. The Joint Meritorious Unit Award was made retroactive to January 23, 1979.List of Algerian detainees at Guantanamo Bay
The United States Department of Defense acknowledges holding approximately one dozen Algerian detainees in Guantanamo.
However an Algerian government press release, on August 21, 2016, said that they had been tracking 28 Algerian captives. Both US and Algerian governments agreed just two captives remained in US custody.
A total of 778 detainees have been held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba since the camps opened on January 11, 2002.The camp population peaked in early 2004 at approximately 660 before numerous detainees were released. Only nineteen new captives, all "high value detainees," have been transferred there since the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Rasul v. Bush (2004), which said that detainees had the habeas corpus right to challenge their detention before an impartial tribunal. As of January 2017, 45 detainees remain at Guantanamo.On March 3, 2008 an Algerian delegation visited Guantanamo. At that time DOD reported seventeen Algerian nationals remaining in Guantanamo.NASA Astronaut Group 10
NASA Astronaut Group 10 (nicknamed "The Maggots") was a group of 17 astronauts that were selected in 1984 and consisted of seven pilots and ten mission specialists. Although selected in 1984, no member of the group would fly until 1988 (William Shepherd on STS-27) due to the Challenger disaster and the resulting grounding of the Space Shuttle fleet.Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense
The Department of Defense Inspector General is an independent, objective agency that provides oversight related to the programs and operations of the United States Department of Defense (DoD). DoD IG was created in 1982 as an amendment to the Inspector General Act of 1978. It is the largest office of the Inspector-General in the United States.U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center
The U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) is part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)). USAASC is headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va.United States Cyber Command
United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) is one of ten unified commands of the United States' Department of Defense. It unifies the direction of cyberspace operations, strengthens DoD cyberspace capabilities, and integrates and bolsters DoD's cyber expertise.
USCYBERCOM was created in mid-2009 at the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. It cooperates with NSA networks and has been concurrently headed by the Director of the National Security Agency since its inception. While originally created with a defensive mission in mind, it has increasingly been viewed as an offensive force. On 18 August 2017, it was announced that USCYBERCOM would be elevated to the status of a full and independent unified combatant command. This elevation occurred on 4 May 2018.United States Department of the Air Force
The Department of the Air Force (DAF) is one of the three Military Departments within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Department of the Air Force was formed on September 18, 1947, per the National Security Act of 1947 and it includes all elements and units of the United States Air Force (USAF).
The Department of the Air Force is headed by the Secretary of the Air Force (SAF/OS), a civilian, who has the authority to conduct all of its affairs, subject to the authority, direction and control of the Secretary of Defense. The Secretary of the Air Force's principal deputy is the Under Secretary of the Air Force (SAF/US). Their senior staff assistants in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force are four Assistant Secretaries for Acquisition, Financial Management & Comptroller, Installations, Environment & Logistics, Manpower & Reserve Affairs and a General Counsel. The highest-ranking military officer in the department is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force who is the senior uniformed adviser to the Secretary, represents the Air Force on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, heads the Air Staff and is assisted in the latter capacity by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
By direction of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Air Force assigns Air Force units – apart from those units performing duties enumerated in 10 U.S.C. § 8013 unless otherwise directed – to the Commanders of the Combatant Commands. Only the Secretary of Defense (and the President) has the authority to approve transfer of forces between Combatant Commands.United States Under Secretary of the Air Force
The Under Secretary of the Air Force (USECAF, or SAF/US) is the second-highest ranking civilian official in the Department of the Air Force of the United States of America, serving directly under the Secretary of the Air Force. In the absence of the Secretary, the Under Secretary exercises all the powers and duties of the Secretary and serves as Acting Secretary when the position of Secretary is vacant. The Under Secretary of the Air Force is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent the Senate, to serve at the President's pleasure.
The Secretary and Under Secretary, together with two military officers (the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force), constitute the senior leadership team of the Department of the Air Force.
The Under Secretary of the Air Force supervises the following officials:
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition)
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management & Comptroller)
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Installations, Environment & Logistics)
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower & Reserve Affairs)
General Counsel of the Air ForceThe current Under Secretary of the Air Force is Matthew Donovan, who was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 1, 2017.World Geodetic System
The World Geodetic System (WGS) is a standard for use in cartography, geodesy, and satellite navigation including GPS. This standard includes the definition of the coordinate systems fundamental and derived constants, the ellipsoidal (normal) Earth Gravitational Model (EGM), a description of the associated World Magnetic Model (WMM), and a current list of local datum transformations.The latest revision is WGS 84 (also known as WGS 1984, EPSG:4326), established in 1984 and last revised in 2004. Earlier schemes included WGS 72, WGS 66, and WGS 60. WGS 84 is the reference coordinate system used by the Global Positioning System.
United States Department of Defense
|Operations and history|
of the President