Military Wiki

Logo for Defense Media Activity

The Defense Media Activity (DMA) is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) field activity. It provides a broad range of high quality multimedia products and services to inform, educate, and entertain Department of Defense audiences around the world.[1] The Defense Media Activity is located on Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. DoD field activities are established as DoD components by law, by the President, or by the Defense Secretary to provide for the performance, on a DoD-wide basis, of a supply or service activity that is common to more than one Military Department when it is determined to be more effective, economical, or efficient to do so.[2] DMA operates as a separate DoD Component under the authority, direction and control of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.


As an organization, DMA can trace its organizational lineage to the first publication of the Stars and Stripes newspaper produced by Union soldiers during the Civil War, in 1861. The DMA is one in a long line of media related organizations established, consolidated or subsumed within the military departments and defense department. DMA was established as a result of the BRAC 2005 decisions.

BRAC 2005

In 2005, as part of the Base Closure and Realignment 2005 analysis, the Defense Department recommended consolidating the media-related organizations of the Military Departments into a single organization and co-locating it with the American Forces Information Service (an existing DoD field activity).[3] The Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission accepted the DoD recommendation and included the recommendation in its report to the President on September 8, 2005.[4] On September 8, 2005 the President approved the BRAC Commission recommendations and forwarded them to the United States Congress. On September 20, 2005 vote, the US Congress failed to disapproved the BRAC Commission's recommendations. Under the provisions of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-510) the recommendations were effectively 'approved'.

The approved BRAC actions were to:

  • Realign Fort Belvoir, Virginia, by relocating Soldier Magazine to Fort Meade, Maryland.
  • Realign Anacostia Annex, District of Columbia, by relocating the Naval Media Center to Fort Meade, MD.
  • Realign 2320 Mill Road, a leased installation in Alexandria, Virginia, by relocating Army Broadcasting-Soldier Radio/TV to Fort Meade, Maryland.
  • Realign 103 Norton Street, a leased installation in San Antonio, Texas, by relocating Air Force News Agency-Army/Air Force Hometown News Service (a combined entity) to Fort Meade, Maryland.
  • Close 601 North Fairfax Street, a leased installation in Alexandria, Virginia, by relocating the American Forces Information Service and the Army Broadcasting-Soldier Radio/TV to Fort Meade, Maryland.
  • Consolidate Soldier Magazine, Naval Media Center, Army Broadcasting-Soldier Radio/TV, and the Air Force News Agency-Army/AirForce Hometown News Service into a single DoD Media Activity at Fort Meade, Maryland.


In September 2007, the deputy defense secretary recognized that the BRAC 2005 decision would result in two field activities co-located at Fort Meade – the American Forces Information Service and DMA – and directed several actions.[5]

  • Consolidate American Forces Information Service with DMA
  • Include the internal media elements of the US Marine Corps that were not addressed in the BRAC 2005 decision
  • Establish DMA on January 1, 2008
  • Transfer the funds and people from the legacy organizations to DMA on October 1, 2009

DMA’s chartering directive, DoD Directive 5105.74, Defense Media Activity, was published on December 18, 2007.[6]

DMA was formally established on January 1, 2008, and the people and funding from the predecessor organizations was transferred to DMA on October 1, 2008. The elements required to move to Fort Meade by the BRAC 2005 decision remained in their facilities as their facility at Fort Meade was designed and constructed. The building design was completed in September 2008.

On March 13, 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, awarded a $56,195,000 contract to Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Chantilly, Virginia, to construct DMA’s headquarters and media production center Fort Meade, Maryland.[7] It is a 185,870 square-foot facility built to house approximately 660 personnel. The building was completed in May 2011 and organizations began moving into the facility in June 2011. The move was completed in August 2011. DMA elements located in the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Tobyhanna Army Depot, Riverside, California and all overseas locations remained in place.

Organization and Functions

Organization and Functions[8] DMA is composed of a headquarters and seven operating components.

The American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) component delivers, via the American Forces Network (AFN), U.S. radio and television news, information, and entertainment programming to active, guard, and reserve military service members, DoD civilians and contract employees, and their families overseas, on board Navy and Coast Guard ships, and to other authorized users. Includes radio and television stations in military communities in Europe, Pacific and the Middle East; and include its central broadcasting hub, the AFN Broadcast Center in Riverside, California, USA.

The Defense Information School provides joint-service training to Defense military and civilian personnel in the career fields of Public Affairs and Visual Information. The school is located at Fort Meade, Maryland.

The Defense Visual Information component manages the Defense Department’s visual information records, provides visual information services to other DoD components and manages the Joint Combat Camera program. It operates the operates the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center (DIMOC)[9] centered at Fort Meade, Maryland with elements in Riverside, California and Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania.

The Production component produces media and visual information products to the internal DoD family (active, guard, and reserve military service members, dependents, retirees, DoD civilians, and contract employees) and external audiences through all available media, including: motion and still imagery; print; radio; television; web and related emerging internet, mobile, and other communication technologies. Also includes communication of messages and themes from senior DoD leaders in order to support and improve quality of life and morale, promote situational awareness, provide timely and immediate force protection information, and sustain readiness. Services include American Forces Press Service, Pentagon Channel, the Joint Hometown News Service, and providing internal news and information products for,,,, and

The Stars and Stripes produces and delivers a newspaper distributed overseas (and on-line products) for the U.S. military community. Editorially independent of interference from outside its own editorial chain-of-command, it provides commercially available U.S. and world news and objective staff-produced stories relevant to the military community.

The Support Services component provides activity-wide administrative, facility management, transportation and logistics services.

The Technical Services component provides technology services to the other DMA components, hosts hundreds of DoD web sites through the DoD Public Web program[10] and the Television-Audio Support Activity (T-ASA).[11]


DMA is led by a director appointed by the ASD (PA) and may be a military flag or general officer, or a civilian appointed as a career member of the Senior Executive Service. The following is a list of DMA’s directors.

  • February 11, 2013 to present, Mr. Ray B. Shepherd[12]
  • May 1, 2012 – February 10, 2013, (Acting Director) Mr. <Bryan G. Whitman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs[13]
  • October 14, 2009 – April 30, 2012, (Acting Director), Mr. Melvin W. Russell, Director, American Forces Radio and Television Service, DMA[14]
  • March 29, 2009 – October 13, 2009, Mr. David S. Jackson[15]
  • March 10, 2008 – March 28, 2009, (Acting Director) Mr. Robert T. Hastings, Jr., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
  • January 1, 2008 – March 9, 2008, (Acting Director) Mr. Bryan G. Whitman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations

External links


  1. "Our Mission",, retrieved 2013-07-24.
  2. Department of Defense Directive 5100.01, Functions of the Department of Defense and Its Major Components, dated December 21, 2010.
  3. Department of Defense Base Closure and Realignment Report, Volume I, Part 2 of 2: Detailed Recommendations, May 2005, page H&SA - 30, Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  4. 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission Report, page 212, Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  5. Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, “Establishment of the Defense Media Activity”, dated September 24, 2007.
  6. DoD Directive 5105.74, "Defense Media Activity", dated December 18, 2007,
  7. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District News Release, dated March 13, 2009,
  8. Defense Media Activity Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2014-2017, August 2013,
  9. "About Us", retrieved 2013-10-5.
  10. "About DMA" and "DoD Public Web", retrieved 2013-10-5.
  11. "Television-Audio Support Activity", retrieved 2013-10-5.
  12. "About DMA" and "Leadership" retrieved 2013-10-5.
  13. U.S. Defense Department "Biographies of Senior Defense Officials" retrieved 2013-10-5.
  14. DMA News and Events archive page retrieved 2013-10-5.
  15. U.S. Defense Department "Biographies of Senior Defense Officials" retrieved 2013-10-5.</

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).