United States Department of Defense., United States Department of Defense (DOD or DoD) is the federal department in charge with [coordinating, organizing, synchronizing] and supervising all agencies and functions of the government [relating, concerning, regarding] directly to national security and the military. The organization and [functions, roles, tasks] of the DOD are set forth in Title 10 of the United States Code.
The DOD is the [major, main, principal] tenant of The Pentagon building near Washington, D.C., and has three major components the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the 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, additionally, in addition] operates several joint service schools, including the National War College.
Department [includes, comprises, incorporates, consist o] the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, as well as non-combat agencies such as the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. The DoD’s annual budget was roughly $439 billion in 2007. This figure does not include tens of billions more in supplemental expenditures allotted by Congress throughout the year, particularly for the war in Iraq.
It also does not include expenditures by the Department of Energy on nuclear weapons design and testing.
In wartime, the Department of Defense has authority over the Coast Guard; in peacetime, that agency is under the control of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Prior to the creation of DHS, the Coast Guard was under the control of the Department of Transportation and earlier under the Department of the Treasury. According to the U.S. Code, the Coast Guard is at all times considered one of the five armed services of the United States. During times of declared war (or by Congressional direction), the Coast Guard operates as a part of the Navy; the service has not been under the auspices of Navy since World War II, but members have served in the undeclared wars and conflicts since then while the service remained in its peacetime department.
The Pentagon, in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., is the headquarters of the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense is protected by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency which ensures law enforcement and security for The Pentagon and various other jurisdictions throughout the National Capital Region (NCR).
During 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 December 19, 1945, President Harry Truman proposed creation of a unified Department of National Defense. A proposal went to Congress in April 1946, but was held up by the Naval Affairs Committee hearings in July 1946, which raised objections to the concentration of power in a single department. Truman eventually sent new legislation to Congress in February 1947, where it was debated and amended for several months.
DoD was created in 1947 as a national military establishment with a single secretary as its head to preside over the former Department of War (founded in 1789) and Department of the Navy (founded in 1798; formerly the Board of Admiralty, founded in 1780). The Department of the Air Force was also created as a new service at the same time (it had been part of the War Department as the United States Army Air Force), and made part of DoD. DoD was created in order to reduce inter-service rivalry which was believed to have reduced military effectiveness during World War II.
On July 26, 1947, Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, which set up the National Military Establishment to begin operations on September 18, 1947, the day after the Senate confirmed James V. Forrestal as the first Secretary of Defense. The Establishment had the unfortunate abbreviation “NME” (the obvious pronunciation being “enemy”), and was renamed the “Department of Defense” (abbreviated as DOD or DoD) on August 10, 1949; in addition, the Secretary of Defense was given greater authority over three of the branches of the military (Army, Navy, and Air Force).
Prior to the creation of the National Military Establishment / Department of Defense, the Armed Forces of the United States were separated into different cabinet-level departments without much central authority. The Marine Corps remained as a separate service under the Department of the Navy, and the Coast Guard remained in the Department of the Treasury, ready to be shifted to the Navy Department during time of declared war (as it was in both world wars).
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