The U.S. Military Online
A Directory for Internet Access to the Department of Defense
2nd Edition (1998)
The U.S. Military Online (ISBN 1-57488-178-7, 256 p. paperback,
illus., index), a National Security Archive book published by Brassey's
(U.S.), is available from the publisher (1-800-776-2518) or online at Amazon.com
and other booksellers. Want to read comments
and reviews for the 1st Edition?
Overview and Contents
Why a written guide to the .mil domain when the Internet has such a
fleeting quality and the U.S. military has its own culture of constant
reorganization? The answer is the very complexity of the military
establishment, the size of the .mil domain, and the increasing inability
and unwillingness of the Internet search engines to index the totality
of the web, particularly in areas of such specialized and limited interest
as military affairs.
Since the first edition of this guide was published in 1997, the U.S.
military march to use the web for so-called "public affairs" and internal
communications and for the conduct of basic business continues. The
list of commands or bases who don't have a public Internet presence is
getting very small–the scope of activity on the net is so broad now that
even a directory of this size only covers the top-level and most publicly
relevant sites, ignoring much specialized material "below."
Just a year or so ago it was remarkable to note that speeches by Defense
Department and military service officials, press releases, and fact sheets
were available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But now,
the novelty of online PR has waned, and it is the regulations and manuals,
studies, program descriptions and documents, budget data and business solicitations,
and databases and search engines that are increasingly the guts of Internet
The U.S. Military Online is not a how-to guide about accessing
or using the Internet nor an exhaustive listing of its resources.
It is instead a decoding of the U.S. military and its information assets
as represented by the websites of the hundreds of bases, commands and activities,
presented, it is hoped, in easily accessible form--by organization, subject
matter, and geographic location. Because I believe that the Internet
does not spell the end of the printed word, a variety of means are presented
for contacting military establishments, whether by good old-fashioned telephone
and postal service, or via E-mail. The Guide is thus also a general
directory of the U.S. military that will be useful to any scholarly researcher,
journalist, librarian, or active citizen hoping to make heads or tails
of America's most influential institution.
The Directory is in three main parts, and the military establishment is
presented by organization, subject, and location. Given the ever
shifting nature of the military and the Internet, it is as important to
know how to find something online as it is to rely on the snapshot provided
in this directory. Chapter 1 provides background on general search
tools of the Internet, as well as descriptions of the mega-directories
that will be useful for finding Internet assets (including official Web
indexes maintained by the military as well as some commercial services).
Sources for understanding military acronyms and terminology are provided,
as well as the means to locate military personnel, related associations,
biographies, fact sheets, photos, etc.
Table of Contents
Introduction and Overview
Finding the U.S. Military on the Internet
Basic Information Resources
Think Tanks, Schools, Libraries, and History Collections
Defense Policies, Weapons, and Systems
The Business of the Department of Defense
Defense Department, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Unified Commands
Department of the Air Force
Department of the Army
Department of the Navy
Major Military Bases in the United States, by State
Major Military Bases and Commands Overseas
Chapter 2 highlight the most prominent homepages ("gateways") maintained
by the Defense Department (DefenseLINK) and the services (AirForceLINK,
ArmyLINK, NavyOnline, MarineLINK), as well as some mega-pages of note (e.g.,
the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC)). Given the decentralized
and complex nature of the military, official gateways are hardly comprehensive
directories of subordinate bases and organizations. Under each entity
in Chapter 2 are some of the more popular public affairs resources – such
as the many military news services available online at Web sites and the
growing number of Pentagon-published magazines and journals, the full-text
of which are freely available online.
Chapter 3 covers the impressive array of official think tanks, schools,
libraries and military history collections. These institutions are
of the greatest value to the social science researcher or journalist, for
they deal with subjects ranging from military sociology to international
relations. The think tanks and academic institutions of the military
tend to have excellent web sites with plenty of useful information (e.g.,
reports, bibliographies, analysis) online. The extensive military
history establishment is far behind the think tanks and schools in terms
of resources online, though the day of online historical documents and
finding aids is not far away. Finally, the major military libraries
with publicly-accessible online catalogs and other Internet materials are
listed, with instructions for online access. Some of the collections
are truly unique.
Chapter 4 covers defense policies, weapons information and other high
profile warfighting and doctrinal initiatives. Tracking current military
policy is now feasible online, and the official doctrine of the military,
in the form of Joint Publications, Field Manuals, and Naval Warfare Publications,
are increasingly accessible in full text. What is more, Defense Department
directives and regulations, as well as an increasing array of service regulations,
publications and forms, are also being placed online.
Chapter 5, which is new with this edition, covers the business of the
Defense Department. This includes resources for tracking the defense
budget, and the Defense Department's research, development, test, evaluation,
and contracting activities.
Chapters 6, 7, 8 and 9 are thorough explanations of Defense Department
organization and online access. Chapter 5 proceeds, more or less
hierarchically, through the Defense Department headquarters, the Office
of the Secretary of Defense, Defense Agencies, and DOD Field Activities;
followed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Unified Commands. Chapters
7, 8, and 9 repeat the process for the Departments of the Air Force, Army,
and Navy. For each service, the Office of the Secretary and the Chiefs
are described, as are the headquarters staff, major commands, field operating
agencies, and operating forces. For major commands and agencies,
full descriptions of online resources is provided in these chapters.
Chapters 10 and 11 list, alphabetically state by state, and country
by country, major military installations in the United States and overseas,
including a description of the commands, activities, and units at each
facility. The coverage is only of major active duty organizations
and facilities. For brevity, only military units at higher echelons
are included (e.g., generally down to wing-level in the Air Force, division
and separate brigade in the Army, regiment in the Marines, wing and group
level in the Navy). Many of the base or headquarters homepages listed
provide links to further subordinate units and activities.
One of the features of the 2nd Edition is the highlighting of about
100 of the best and most useful sites in (and about) the .mil domain.
The links and descriptions of these sites are provided here.
Web Locators and Reference
War, Peace, and Security WWW Server
An excellent and comprehensive site of military resources worldwide,
compiled by the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College. Includes
military news, links, hotspots, etc. In English and French.
Armed Forces Communications, Inc.
Another private website of note, containing a worldwide directory of
installations and units.
Directorate for Information Operations and Reports (DIOR)
Official DOD repository of statistical information covering personnel
and procurement issues. The catalog
of publications includes a listing of available reports. The
Information Division prepares military and civilian manpower
statistics: personnel by rank and grade, casualty figures for October 1979
to the present, the Roster
of General Flag Officers, and various statistical atlases reflecting
distribution of personnel by state and by selected locations. The
Economic Information Division compiles information and statistics,
such as the Top
100 Prime Contractors, as well as comprehensive listing of contract
awards over $25,000, by contractor and by state.
Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) Dictionary and Thesaurus
Database of military terminology, acronyms, geographic codes, names
of statesmen, military leaders, weapons, UN peacekeeping operations, and
Joint Combat Camera Center
Online search database of publicly released and restricted photos by
military specialists, accessible with user name and password of "public."
National Defense University (NDU) Library Defense Nexus
Online guide to Air Force, Army, Defense, Navy and Marine Corps, international
military links and civilian defense-related links on the Internet, arranged
by service, alphabetical, and by subject.
Standard Installation Topic Exchange Service (SITES)
Defense Manpower Data Center website providing official information
about military installations in the United States and overseas. Each
installation profile includes information on the base, units and commands,
background on the local community, and housing and other family services.
The starting point for information about the Defense Department, its
organizations, and functions. Officially inaugurated in November
1994, the home page now includes official news releases, photos, publications
such as the Quadrennial
Defense Review and the Secretary
of Defense Annual Report to Congress, statements of defense officials,
fact sheets, biographies, etc. The much improved internal search engine
includes all DefenseLINK material. The somewhat outdated DOD Organizations
and Functions Guidebook explains the functions of the Office of the
Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Defense Agencies, and DOD Field Activities.
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC)
The central world wide web server of the Defense Department and the
repository of DOD technical reports, DTIC's
Internet Resources include the Scientific
and Technical Information Network (STINET), a publicly accessible database
of releasable technical reports from 1986 to the present (more than
400,000 citations and abstracts); as well as access to the databases of
technical reports of NASA and the Department of Energy (DOE). The
Defense Technical Information Web
Locator contains links to a wide variety of DOD (and non-DOD) Internet
resources arranged by subject category.
Ever improving homepage of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with access to
Joint Staff organizations, speeches, testimony, doctrinal and other publications.
The Joint Electronic Library
(see also below) contains the full-text of unclassified joint publications,
selected service publications, and related papers and studies.
Department of the Air Force homepage inaugurated in April 1995, and
including the Air Force Library of
biographies, fact sheets on Air Force organizations and weapons systems,
an FAQ, publications, and speeches and testimony by Air Force civilian
and military leaders. Air Force
News is a daily news service on issues of concern to the service.
Includes a search engine. Air
Force Sites is an alphabetical and major command listing of publicly
accessible Air Force websites.
Educational Institutions and Military Think Tanks
Department of the Army homepage inaugurated in February 1995, and including
the Fact File on Army equipment, weapon systems, vehicles, and aircraft,
Army News, speeches, photos, etc. The homepage includes links to
information about Army installations,
as well as a alphabetical, chronological, and subject
listing of Army websites.
Department of the Navy homepage inaugurated in November 1993 and one
of the best "public affairs" libraries of FAQs, biographies, speeches,
testimony, publications, fact sheets, etc. Status
of the US Navy is updated weekly. The Navy
Fact File contains descriptions of the roles and characteristics of
Navy aircraft, ships and weapons. The Navy
News Service is updated weekly.
Marine Corps homepage, inaugurated in November 1994, containing biographies,
speeches and testimony, reports, the regularly updated Marine
Corps News, and information on Marine history, organization, and policies.
Main academic headquarters of the Air Force, located at Maxwell AFB,
Alabama, with numerous subordinate schools and colleges. The Air
University post more full-text of student and faculty reports than any
other military academic institution. The Air
University Research Database is a fully searchable database of ongoing
research projects, papers, and reports by Air University scholars, students,
and components. Contains the full-text of research conducted from
1995 to the present. The Air
University Faculty Expertise Database provides information on areas
of expertise and research interests of AU faculty and fellows, including
address, phone number, and Email contact information.
Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL)
Operated at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Fully searchable website
of newsletters, reports, and guidebooks relating to operational lessons
learned from Army and Joint operations, exercises, and contingencies.
The site includes the CALL
Dictionary and Thesaurus (mentioned above).
College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education (CADRE)
A think tank of the Air University, the website includes the full-text
archive of Airpower, the Air Force's premier scholarly journal,
as well as discussion threads relating to articles in the journal.
Naval Postgraduate School
Located in Monterey, California. Naval and Joint higher education
institution with excellent resources in the fields of naval sciences; command,
control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I), information
warfare, and space systems.
Military Education Research Library Network (MERLN)
Combined online catalogs of eight of the largest Defense Department
academic and institutional libraries.
Air University Library
Located at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, the largest Defense Department library
and largest federal government library outside of Washington.
The Air University
Bibliographies, compiled by librarians at the library, are increasingly
online, and contain subject references to Internet resources and citations
to books, documents, and journal articles. The Air
University Index of Military Periodicals, also online, contains bibliographic
references to the specialized military periodical literature from 1990
to the present.
Navy Department Library
Excellent and well organized homepage for the combined resources of
the (modest) Navy Library in Washington, DC and the extensive resources
of the collocated Naval Historical
Redstone Scientific Information Center
Located at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, a comprehensive scientific and
technical library with abstracts of over 300,000 books and technical reports
concentrating on ordnance, missiles, and weapon systems. The
Arsenal Historical Information website is perhaps one of the finest
multi-media official military collections online, with historical documents,
photographs, and videos chronicling Cold War Army missile developments.
Washington Headquarters Services Directives and Records Branch Home Page
Online library of Defense Department official directives and instructions.
Air Force Material Command (AFMC) Publishing Distribution Library
Online library of Air Force and AFMC publications and regulations,
as well as the gateway to other DOD publishing libraries. Air Force
Area Plans (TAPS), prepared annually by AFMC, are projections of the
state of technological developments in a dozen areas, and are available
Army Publishing Agency
Repository of Army regulations, orders, and pamphlets.
Army Training Digital Library
The Army's "electronic library without walls" contains a growing online
full-text library of Field Manuals (FMs), training plans, training circulars,
Mission Training Plans, Soldier's Manuals, and other training, informational,
doctrinal and reference publications of the Army. Links are also
provided to publications of the other military services such as the Marine
Corps as well as Joint
Joint Electronic Library (JEL)
Online library of the full-text of unclassified joint doctrinal-related
publications, selected service doctrine publications, and related papers
Marine Corps Combat Development Command (CDC) Domino
Department of Defense Business-Related Sites
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology
The main weapons and systems starting point for DOD-wide research,
development, test, and acquisition programs. Includes the LabLINK
homepage of military and federal research laboratory resources, the Acquisition
Reform Homepage, and other acquisition-related websites, such as the
DOD Small Business
Innovative Research (SBIR).
Service, Base and Command Sites
Special Subject Sites
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
The DOD Comptroller website has the full documentation of the Defense
Department budget request to Congress online.
Research and Development Descriptive Summaries
Searchable depository of Research, Development, Test and Evaluation
(RDT&E) Programs and Program Elements (PE Numbers) justification material
for Fiscal Years 1995 to the present, as presented to Congress.
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition) ("Air Force Acquisition
Searchable site dealing with all aspects of acquisition policy, contracting,
and program management. The site is a gateway to Air Force contracting
and business opportunities.
Assistant Secretary of the Army, Financial Management and Comptroller ("Army
Financial Management WWW")
Army budgets and supporting documentation in detail from fiscal years
1995 to the present.
Navy Budget Page
Navy and Marine Corps budget justification materials as submitted to
Navy long-range Acquisition Estimates
Hanscom Electronic RFP Bulletin Board (HERBB)
The model for a command-level electronic commerce and procurement website,
in this case for the Electronics Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts.
Compiled 15 September 1998
Air Combat Command Center for Lessons Learned
Center of Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance
Located at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii, and operated by Pacific
Command (PACOM), this site covers all aspects of humanitarian assistance
and disaster response and preparedness.
Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence and Electronic
Warfare Project Book
Alphabetical, nomenclature, and system/equipment name index and database
of descriptions of Army C4I-related projects and programs.
DOD Base Closure and Community Reinvestment
The homepage for the Persian Gulf War Veterans Illnesses Task Force
initiated in 1995, contains background information and up-to-date research
and analysis relating to the Gulf War, including a searchable index of
full-text declassified documents.
Inspector General of the Department of Defense
Full-text access to IG reports and investigations.
Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS) Joint Program Office
Navy Base Closures Staff
Test and Evaluation (T&E) Community Network (TECNET)
Homepage of the DOD test and evaluation community, with references,
news, and numerous bulletin boards.
U.S. Army Europe Lesson Learned Homepage