Defense Secretary Hagel on death of American aid worker: 'On behalf of all the men and women of the Department of Defense, I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known to us as Peter, who time and again volunteered his service during times of war - first as an Army Ranger in Iraq, and later as a devoted humanitarian, providing aid to victims of the conflict in Syria. Like his fellow veterans of the 9/11 Generation, his strong desire to continue making a difference in the world after serving in uniform - to continue leading a life of purpose - is an inspiration to us all' - statement
US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey says some US forces are already at Ain al-Asad air base in Anbar province to advise Iraqis, part of expanded US efforts against Islamic State fighters - @Reuters
The Department of Defense is an executive branch department of the federal government of the United States 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 also the largest employer in the world, with more than 2.13 million active duty servicemen and women as well as their support staff of civilian workers. Adding to the total is over 1.1 million National Guardsmen and Reservists from the four services, bringing the total to just over 3.2 million employees.
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 U.S. Department of the Army, the U.S. Department of the Navy, and the U.S. 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 including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), all of which are under the command of the Secretary of Defense. Military operations are managed by nine 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).