United States Department of Defense (DOD) Overview

department of defense

Overview of the United States Department of Defense

The United States Department of Defense (DOD or sometimes listed as DoD) is the federal department responsible for coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the military. The organization and functions of the Department of Defense are set forth in Title 10 of the United States Code.

The Department of Defense is the major tenant of The Pentagon building near Washington, D.C., and has three major components:

  • The Department of the Army
  • The Department of the Navy
  • Department of the Air Force

Related Agencies

Among the many Department of Defense 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)
  • The National Security Agency (NSA)

Training Academies

The department also operates several joint service schools and training academies, including the National War College. Following are military training academies sponsored by the DOD:

Department Websites

  • United States Department of Defense Website – United States Department of Defense website. Includes the latest news and issues the department is dealing with. Provides a list of all DOD sites and other resources.

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List of Defense Agencies

  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – Seeks to advance knowledge through research and create innovative technologies that address current problems.
  • Defense Commissary Agency (DECA) – Operates a worldwide chain of commissaries (basically military grocery stores) that provide groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families.
  • Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA)
  • Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA)
  • Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)
  • Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)
  • Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
  • Defense Legal Services Agency (DLSA)
  • Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)
  • Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)
  • Defense Security Service (DSS)
  • Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
  • National Security Agency (NSA)
  • Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA)


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