Department of Defense Education Activity

75 Facts about DoDEA

DoDEA Fact Number 1 - Graduating Student

DoDEA Fact #1

DoDEA celebrates its 75th anniversary during school year 2021-2022 to commemorate the opening of the first DoD schools at the end of World War II.

DoDEA Fact #2

There are nearly one million military connected children of all ages worldwide, of which approximately 67,000 are enrolled in DoDEA schools, served by more than 8,000 educators.

DoDEA Fact Number 2 - Teacher in class
DoDEA Fact Number 3 - Students Learning in Class

DoDEA Fact #3

In 1921 there were 108 schools with fifteen or more pupils and 63 schools with fewer than fifteen pupils, totaling 171 schools on federally owned properties. The number of students totaled 5,234 children.

DoDEA Fact #4

All schools within DoDEA are fully accredited by U.S. accreditation agencies.

DoDEA Fact Number 4 - Students Participating Outdoors
DoDEA Fact Number 5 - Student Wearing Face Mask

DoDEA Fact #5

DoDEA has a long and proud history of serving military families at locations around the globe.

DoDEA Fact #6

Military dependents schools were open as early as 1918 in the Philippines. This makes the Philippines the only country in the Pacific Region to have post schools in operation before WWII.

DoDEA Fact Number 6 - Students in Line
DoDEA Fact Number 7 - Teacher and Students Holding Sign

DoDEA Fact #7

DoDEA's beginnings can be traced back to the end of World War II with the establishment of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS).

DoDEA Fact #8

At the end of World War II, there was no precedent to follow for establishing and operating dependents schools in foreign occupied countries and quite often, parents organized small schools.

DoDEA Fact Number 8 - Students in Class
DoDEA Fact Number 9 - Teacher Holding Sign

DoDEA Fact #9

The Department of the Army established the first dependents schools - on and off military installations - in 1946 in the occupied countries of Germany, Austria and Japan.

DoDEA Fact #10

Within three years of launching the first dependents schools, there were nearly 100 schools which were operated separately by the Army, Navy, and Air Force, in countries around the world.

DoDEA Fact Number 10 - School Families Outdoors
DoDEA Fact Number 11 - Student Crossing Street

DoDEA Fact #11

On September 7, 1946 the first post school in an occupied country opened in Japan on Johnson Army Base. Funds were obtained through tuition ($2.00 per month for children of enlisted personnel and officers paid $4.00 per child). Funds were also raised through means of carnivals, Fun-for-All Nights, and benefit functions held at the Officers’ Club.

DoDEA Fact #12

In 1976, a Joint House-Senate Conference Committee Report informed the three military departments that the Department of Defense was taking over the operation of the military dependents' schools.

DoDEA Fact Number 12 - Teacher Instructing in Class
DoDEA Fact Number 13 - Teachers Discussing Activity

DoDEA Fact #13

In 1964, the Secretary of Defense combined the three separate school systems into the Department of Defense Overseas Dependents School System.

DoDEA Fact #14

In 1978, title XIV of P.L. 95-561, the Defense Dependents Education Act of 1978, established the Defense Dependents' Education System, and required the SECDEF to establish and operate a free public education system for eligible overseas dependents.

DoDEA Fact Number 14 - Students Looking at Books
DoDEA Fact Number 15 - Students Doing Classwork

DoDEA Fact #15

In 1979, the school system was called the Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDS).

DoDEA Fact #16

In 1821 Congress first enacted a law that allowed the operation of schools on military posts in the United States.

DoDEA Fact Number 16 - Students Waving from School Bus
DoDEA Fact Number 17 - Teacher Discussing with Student

DoDEA Fact #17

In 1950, federal legislation consolidated the funding and operation of these installation-run schools under the authority of Section 6, Public Law No. 81-874, which gave the then Commissioner of Education the authority to make arrangements for the free public education of children who resided on federal property if a State did not allow tax revenues to be expended for that purpose, or if no local educational agency (LEA) was able to provide suitable free public education to such children.

DoDEA Fact #18

In 1981, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), P.L. 97-35, changed the responsibility for funding Section 6 arrangements from the Department of Education to the Department of Defense.

DoDEA Fact Number 18 - Students at Lunch
DoDEA Fact Number 19 - Students Playing

DoDEA Fact #19

While a few schools on military bases within the continental United States and its territories were operating prior to World War II, the school system we know today as the Department of Defense Education Activity formally began with the establishment of dependents schools overseas.

DoDEA Fact #20

In 1964, the Army operated schools in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The Air Force operated schools in the Pacific (Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, the Philippines, Korea, and Midway Island). The Navy operated all schools in the Atlantic (Iceland, Labrador, Newfoundland, Bermuda, Cuba, Eleuthera, and Antigua).

DoDEA Fact Number 20 - Students Helping Each Other
DoDEA Fact Number 21 - Students Wearing Crowns

DoDEA Fact #21

During the 1960s, worldwide enrollment averaged 160,000.

DoDEA Fact #22

In 1976 House Appropriations Committee Report directed military commanders to get out of the school business and let the Department of Defense run the schools under a civilian educator in the Pentagon.

DoDEA Fact Number 22 - Teachers Posing in Spirit
DoDEA Fact Number 23 - Student Drawing with Chalk

DoDEA Fact #23

A newly established office in the Pentagon - the Office of Overseas Dependents Education - responsible to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs - took oversight of the schools in the 1970s.

DoDEA Fact #24

In 1979 the Office of Overseas Dependents Education became the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS).

DoDEA Fact Number 24 - Student Smiling
DoDEA Fact Number 25 - Student Smiling

DoDEA Fact #25

In 1979 the three geographic areas - Europe, Pacific, and Atlantic - were reconfigured into six geographic regions (Atlantic, Germany North, Germany South, Mediterranean, Panama and Pacific) with a regional director and several superintendents.

DoDEA Fact #26

In 1979, the Office of Overseas Dependents Education became the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS). Panama post schools become part of DoDDS.

DoDEA Fact Number 26 - Students Eating Lunch
DoDEA Fact Number 27 - Students Walking to Class

DoDEA Fact #27

Following the Cold War in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the number of DoDDS schools was reduced and combined with the U.S.-based Domestic Dependents Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) to form the Department of Defense Education Activity in 1992.

DoDEA Fact #28

In 1992 the DoDDS headquarters in Arlington, VA, became the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). The Director, DoDEA, assumed responsibility for organizing, managing, and directing the DoDEA headquarters, DoDDS, and DDESS.

DoDEA Fact Number 28 - Student Reading Outdoors
DoDEA Fact Number 29 - Class Seated for Photo

DoDEA Fact #29

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) provides education to more than 60,000 eligible DoD military and civilian children in 160 schools.

DoDEA Fact #30

The Department of Defense is committed to ensuring that all children of military families are provided a world class education that prepares them to be successful in their careers, leading contributors in their communities and productive citizens in the 21st century.

DoDEA Fact Number 30 - Students in Class
DoDEA Fact Number 31 - Student Flying Kite

DoDEA Fact #31

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is the umbrella organization that unites efforts to provide quality educational opportunities and services to military dependents around the globe.

DoDEA Fact #32

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education.

DoDEA Fact Number 32 - Students in School Bus
DoDEA Fact Number 33 - Students Getting on School Bus

DoDEA Fact #33

DoDEA is primarily responsible for operating the DoD elementary and secondary school system, ensuring the students that attend DoDEA schools remain on track towards being ready for college or a career upon high school graduation.

DoDEA Fact #34

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) celebrates its 75th anniversary during the 2021-2022 School Year, continuing a tradition of excellence in education that began on October 14, 1946.

DoDEA Fact Number 34 - Student Writing Assignment
DoDEA Fact Number 35 - Graduating Class Toss Caps

DoDEA Fact #35

DoDEA arranges and financially supports educational requirements for eligible dependents not able to attend a DoDEA school (overseas and in four U.S. locations).

DoDEA Fact #36

DoDEA is one of two Federally operated elementary/secondary school systems.

DoDEA Fact Number 36 - School Teachers Pose for Photo
DoDEA Fact Number 37 - Students Pose for Photos

DoDEA Fact #37

DoDEA is globally dispersed – 3 Regions, 8 Districts, 160 schools.

DoDEA Fact #38

DoDEA is a DoD Field Activity aligned under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness).

DoDEA Fact Number 38 - Students in Class
DoDEA Fact Number 39 - Purple Up Photo

DoDEA Fact #39

DoDEA has a dual responsibility for the equivalent of a State Department of Education and a Public School District.

DoDEA Fact #40

DoDEA houses 29 different school configurations serving 67,000+ students.

DoDEA Fact Number 40 - Group Photo
DoDEA Fact Number 41 - Class Experiment

DoDEA Fact #41

DoDEA’s mission is sustained, maintained and guided by the DoDEA Blueprint for Continuous Improvement, which serves as the foundation for all planning within DoDEA and directs our collective energies and resources as we strive to realize our vision.

DoDEA Fact #42

DoDEA’s mission statement is to Educate, Engage, and Empower military-connected students to succeed in a dynamic world.

DoDEA Fact Number 42 - Parents Welcome Students Back
DoDEA Fact Number 43 - Guest Speaker in Class

DoDEA Fact #43

DoDEA students’ average scale scores ranged from 10 to 18 percentage points higher than corresponding national average scores, and mostly increased while national average scores mostly decreased.

DoDEA Fact #44

DoDEA, as one of only two Federally operated school systems, is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and managing prekindergarten through 12th grade educational programs on behalf of the Department of Defense (DoD).

DoDEA Fact Number 44 - Student Working on Assignment
DoDEA Fact Number 45 - Choose Kind

DoDEA Fact #45

DoDEA is globally positioned, operating 160 accredited schools in 8 districts located in 11 foreign countries, 7 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

DoDEA Fact #46

DoDEA employs approximately 15,000 employees who serve more than 60,000 children of active duty military and DoD civilian families.

DoDEA Fact Number 46 - Drawing the World
DoDEA Fact Number 47 - Balloon Activity

DoDEA Fact #47

DoDEA is committed to ensuring that all school-aged children of military families are provided a world-class education that prepares them for postsecondary education and/or career success and to be leading contributors in their communities as well as in our 21st century globalized society.

DoDEA Fact #48

DoDEA operates as a field activity of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness).

DoDEA Fact Number 48 - COVID Sign for Face Masks
DoDEA Fact Number 49 - Mr. Brady Welcomes New School Year

DoDEA Fact #49

DoDEA is headed by a director who oversees all agency functions from DoDEA headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

DoDEA Fact #50

DoDEA's schools are divided into 3 geographic areas: Europe, the Pacific, and the Americas.

DoDEA Fact Number 50 - Drawings on Clay
DoDEA Fact Number 51 - Dr. Marshall Receives Award

DoDEA Fact #51

Since 1982, 45 DoDEA schools have been recognized as Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. The award is based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

DoDEA Fact #52

Since 2015, seven DoDEA schools have been recognized as Green Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. This award is based on efforts towards 21st Century excellence.

DoDEA Fact Number 52 - Matching Face Masks
DoDEA Fact Number 53 - New Beginnings 2020

DoDEA Fact #53

DoDEA college and career ready programs are designed to ensure all high school graduates have the knowledge, skills, habits and dispositions in multiple subjects to be successful in their future endeavors.

DoDEA Fact #54

The DoDEA instructional program provides a comprehensive prekindergarten through 12th grade curriculum that is dedicated to attaining highest student achievement for all students.

DoDEA Fact Number 54 - Students in Class
DoDEA Fact Number 55 - Students in Line Outdoors

DoDEA Fact #55

Currently 100% of DoDEA schools are accredited and in good standing with their regional accrediting agency.

DoDEA Fact #56

DoDEA students consistently achieve high scores in the National Assessment of Educational Progress and above the national average on standardized assessments. Minority students have been especially successful, scoring at or near the highest in the nation in mathematics.

DoDEA Fact Number 56 - Walking to School
DoDEA Fact Number 57 - Students in Line Outdoors

DoDEA Fact #57

DoDEA measures student progress with multiple performance-based assessments.

DoDEA Fact #58

DoDEA Virtual High School is a fully accredited DoDEA high school that provides online asynchronous courses with synchronous support by full-time DoDEA certified teachers.

DoDEA Fact Number 58 - Super Hero Drawing
DoDEA Fact Number 59 - Students on Laptops

DoDEA Fact #59

DoDEA Virtual School (DVS) provides interactive and engaging instruction that prepares students to learn, work, and serve a global society. DVS is comprised of these programs: Virtual Option K-12, DoDEA Virtual High School (DVHS) Supplemental, DVHS Expanded Eligibility Pilot Program (E2P2), Non-DoD Schools Program (NDSP), and the Domestic Transition Program.

DoDEA Fact #60

All DoDEA schools are accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) or the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), which provide each school with an independent evaluation.

DoDEA Fact Number 60 - Students Listening
DoDEA Fact Number 61 - Hallway Discussions

DoDEA Fact #61

The Non-DoD Program supports approximately 4,057 students in 135 countries.

DoDEA Fact #62

DoDEA shares expertise with local education agencies (LEA) and public schools that educate military students through our Partnership Branch.

DoDEA Fact Number 62 - High Five Shot
DoDEA Fact Number 63 - Teacher Posing in Spirit

DoDEA Fact #63

DoDEA manages $2.1 billion to operate our school system. Of the annual DoDEA budget, approximately 62% is devoted to payroll expenses, including overseas living quarters and post allowances.

DoDEA Fact #64

DoDEA Headquarters moved to the Mark Center located in Alexandria, VA in 2012.

DoDEA Fact Number 64 - Student Raises Hand
DoDEA Fact Number 65 - Hallway Fun

DoDEA Fact #65

Thomas M. Brady is the Director of the Department of Defense Education Activity. Mr. Brady became the eighth director on March 12, 2014.

DoDEA Fact #66

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is a Department of Defense field activity operating under the direction and authority of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

DoDEA Fact Number 66 - DoDEA Creativity
DoDEA Fact Number 67 - Robotics Project

DoDEA Fact #67

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-aged children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to high-quality public education.

DoDEA Fact #68

DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

DoDEA Fact Number 68 - Science Project
DoDEA Fact Number 69 - Graduating Class

DoDEA Fact #69

DoDEA’s director, Thomas Brady, establishes two top priorities in 2014: College and Career Ready Standards (CCR) and Restructuring for Student Achievement (RSA).

DoDEA Fact #70

DoDEA provides support and resources to Local Educational Activities throughout the United States that serve children of military families.

DoDEA Fact Number 70 - Students Enjoying Lunch
DoDEA Fact Number 71 - Students Getting to School

DoDEA Fact #71

Headquartered in Peachtree City, GA, DoDEA Americas is divided into 2 school districts (Americas Mid-Atlantic and Americas Southeast) and operates 50 schools at 16 military communities on the U.S. mainland, Puerto Rico, and Cuba.

DoDEA Fact #72

Headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, DoDEA Europe is organized into 3 districts (EU East, EU South, and EU West) and operates 64 schools within 27 U.S. military communities across Europe.

DoDEA Fact Number 72 - Hands In
DoDEA Fact Number 73 - Students on Bleachers

DoDEA Fact #73

Headquartered in Yokota, Japan, the DoDEA Pacific region is organized into 3 districts (Pacific East, Pacific South, and Pacific West) and operates 45 schools on 21 U.S. military installations in Guam, Japan, and South Korea.

DoDEA Fact #74

During the COVID-19 pandemic, 4 million healthy meals were provided to DoDEA Americas students. Healthy meals mean students get the nutrients they need to focus on school.

DoDEA Fact Number 74 - Packing Lunches
DoDEA Fact Number 75 - Families Pick Student Up

DoDEA Fact #75

The first DoDEA school opened its doors on Oct. 14, 1946, for school year 1946-47.