An Overview of DoDEA’s History and Mission

Welcome to DoDEA

We are glad that you have chosen to pursue your career at DoDEA. DoDEA is one of only two federally-operated school systems. The agency offers a diverse environment that provides many opportunities for you to grow professionally and personally. We hope that today’s orientation will provide you with the support, resources, and guidance necessary for you to start your career with confidence.


About DoDEA

DoDEA oversees pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educational programs on behalf of the Department of Defense (DoD). The agency operates 166 accredited schools in 8 districts located in 11 foreign countries, 7 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. It employs over 12,000 employees who serve 74,000 children of active duty military and DoD civilian families.

The agency operates as a field activity of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. It is headed by a director who oversees all agency functions from DoDEA headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.


DoDEA History

Shortly after the end of World War II, the United States military opened schools for the children of its service men and women stationed in Europe and the Pacific. Schools for children of military members stationed at various bases in the United States were already established. The schools were first administered by the military branches they served. Then they were transferred to civilian managers. Eventually, they were organized into two separate systems: the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (Pacific and Europe) overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (Americas) in the United States. In 1994, the two systems were brought together under an umbrella agency, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).


DoDEA Mission

DoDEA’s mission is to educate, engage, and empower military-connected students to succeed in a dynamic world. The agency’s top priorities are to increase student achievement and to create a unified school system.