Washington Headquarters Services

Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) was established as a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Field Activity on October 1, 1977 as part of a DoD headquarters streamlining initiative. Approximately 1,300 WHS staff are organized into 7 Directorates and 2 Offices. It is aligned under the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Administration and Management.

Washington Headquarters Services is a DoD Field Activity, created on October 1, 1977. DoD Field Activities supply a service common to more than one military department. Prior to the establishment of WHS, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) provided administrative support for several DoD Components outside of OSD. The Department wanted to remove operating functions from OSD in order to refocus the staff on matters involving policy analysis and oversight.

During the DoD reform initiatives of the past two decades, WHS has become the agency of choice for DoD-wide support functions and its worldwide mission continues to evolve. WHS provides consolidated administrative and operational support to several Defense Agencies, DoD Field Activities, the headquarters and various elements of the military departments, the White House, and to some degree, the Congress.

With expanding responsibilities, WHS grew from its original size of 327 personnel in FY 1977 to a peak of 1,960 personnel in FY 1994. Currently, WHS has approximately 1,200 civilian and military employees and 2,000 contract employees.

David O. Cooke was the first Director of WHS and he also served concurrently as the Director of Administration and Management (DA&M) for OSD. Known as the “Mayor of the Pentagon,” Doc brought extraordinary dedication to his job for 44 years before his death on June 22, 2002.

Raymond F. DuBois assumed the role of DA&M in October 2002. Mr. DuBois served concurrently as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment). In May 2005, he took on the role of Acting Under Secretary of the Army.

In January, 2004, the positions of DA&M and Director of WHS were officially separated. The position of DA&M is a political appointment while the Director of WHS is a career Senior Executive Service position. With this division, Howard G. Becker officially assumed the role of Director for WHS. He retired in 2006; today, Michael Rhodes serves concurrently as the Deputy DA&M and Director of WHS.

Michael B. Donley became the third DA&M since 1977 when he was officially sworn in on May 9, 2005.

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