Today is the Department of Defense’s 62nd birthday, to which we say mazel tov! On August 10, 1949, DoD was born into a world in which wars were cold and the entire gross domestic product of the United States was less than the department’s current budget:
In 1949, the National Security Bill streamlined the defense agencies of the U.S. government. The 1949 bill replaced the National Military Establishment with the Department of Defense. The bill also removed the cabinet-level status of the secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, who would henceforth be subordinate to the Secretary of Defense. The first person to hold this position was Louis Johnson. Finally, the bill provided for the office of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in an effort to bring to end to the inter-service bickering that had characterized the Joint Chiefs in recent years. World War II hero General Omar Bradley was appointed the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
To celebrate, we’ve bought DoD a $104.6 billion* cake built by Boeing**.
*Due to complications related to the unforeseen incompatibility of the candles and frosting, this project ran over budget and will require Congress to pass a $20 billion emergency funding bill by the end of the day if the client wants an on time delivery.
**Boeing still expects its contractually guaranteed $12 billion bonus for on time delivery