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DoD Response to Coronavirus


COVID-19 Update from JS Surgeon
March 25, 2020

SD/CJCS/SEAC Facebook Town Hall
March 24, 2020

Message to the Joint Force, DoD Civilians and Families

JS Surgeon on following the CDC guidelines
to keep our people and communities safe

COVID-19 Update from JS Surgeon
March 18, 2020

COVID-19 Update from JS Surgeon
March 16, 2020

Chief Management Officer Pentagon/Mark Center
Employee Town Hall, March 16, 2020

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley on Coronavirus

''This is not the first challenge the United States has ever faced. This is not the first war we've ever been in...We will get through this through solid leadership, caring for our troops and keeping focus on the mission."

"We are committed to the health and safety of you and our families...We are the world's finest fighting force and it's because of you. Keep your eye on the mission and take care of yourselves and each other."

“The impact on uniformed military is very minimal...We are also preparing to help--Whatever the nation needs...We're able to support other agencies, as necessary, and as required by the President and Congress."

"[Taking care of soldiers and families is] one of the top priorities of the secretary of defense, it's one of the top priorities of all of us in uniform, it's one of our solemn responsibilities to take care of our soldiers and families and we intend to do that. And we'll provide whatever assistance is needed to them."

"Here in the United States, we are making all due preparations to protect our bases, camps and stations and also to act in support of Health and Human Services. So we've got lots of capabilities, medical capabilities, housing, and so on, so forth that if required and directed by the secretary of defense we'll do our part."

Joint Staff Surgeon Brig. Gen. Dr. Paul Friedrichs on Coronavirus

“Not only do we have an obligation to the health of our service members and to their families, we also have an obligation to preserve our ability to do our military mission and to our communities in which we have bases.”

"The immediate risk to our force remains low. We’ve had a handful of cases worldwide--No one is seriously ill and everyone who has been diagnosed has been appropriately treated or getting the care they need."

"The current confirmed cases are low and we want to keep those numbers low by implementing common-sense mitigation efforts. These practical measures can have a significant impact on controlling the spread of COVID-19."

"Every individual has the responsibility to implement these basic measures, including social distancing measures in the workplace and frequently wiping down surfaces."

"For years, [we] have had a very robust research and development program looking at viral illnesses. Our labs have been working on vaccines, and we are partnering with [Health and Human Services] and CDC on developing vaccine candidates."

Military Medical Leaders Discuss Vaccine Development Against Coronavirus 


Learn more about DoD's priorities to combat coronavirus.

Top Stories
SEAC: Defense Department's Priority Is Safety of People
A Navy hospital corpsman asks a patient a series of questions before allowing him to enter the Naval Health Clinic at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., March 12, 2020, as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus.
April 3, 2020 - The first priority for senior Pentagon leaders in the COVID-19 pandemic is taking care of service members and Defense Department civilians and their families, a top Pentagon advisor said.

Manpower Chief Discusses Personnel Aspects of COVID-19 Response
Air Force Staff Sgt. Maxime Copley, 86th Medical Group medical technician, writes down patient information during COVID-19 drive-through screening at the Ramstein Air Base, Germany, medical clinic, March 31, 2020.
April 2, 2020 - The Joint Staff's director of manpower and personnel discussed the personnel aspects of the fight against COVID-19 during a freewheeling exchange with Pentagon reporters.

Logisticians Make COVID-19 Fight Possible
Louisiana Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Jonathan McClellan processes nasal swabs from patients during a drive-thru community based COVID-19 testing site at Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans, March 20, 2020. The number of Guardsmen activated and the amount of Guard equipment used for the COVID-19 response is expected to increase until the situation is stabilized.
April 1, 2020 - Joint Staff logisticians are working around the clock to help civilian authorities deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Joint Staff Ops Official Breaks Down DOD Aid to Fight Coronavirus
Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy sailors treat a patient from a Los Angeles medical facility, on March 29, 2020. The hospital ship deployed in support of the nation's COVID-19 response and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients.
March 31, 2020 - The Defense Department is going all out to support civilian agencies confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, the vice director of operations for the Joint Staff said.

Readout of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley's Phone Call with United Kingdom's Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sir Nicholas Carter
March 30, 2020 - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley spoke with United Kingdom's Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sir Nicholas Carter today by phone.
Chairman Milley's Key Focus Areas
  • Sustain our values. 
    American values have made us strong for two and a half centuries, and we will never waver in our commitment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Improve joint warfighting readiness. 
    We must be ready 24-7—that is our contract with the American people. We will also continue to work closely with our Allies and partners to improve our collective security and protect our common interests.
  • Develop the Joint Force of the future. 
    We will modernize our military through innovative concept development, advanced technology, and new capabilities.
  • Develop and empower Joint Force leaders.
    The future operating environment will place new demands on leaders at all levels. Our leaders must have the training, education, and experience to meet those demands.
  • Take care of our people and families. 
    They are our most precious asset. We must always keep faith with them.

    *Read his initial message to the Joint Force on his first day as Chairman*


Chairman's Focus on Global Integration

“The Joint Chiefs of Staff, in view of their global responsibilities and their perspective with respect to the worldwide strategic situation, are in a better position than any single theater commander to assess the risk of general war. Moreover, the Joint Chiefs of Staff are best able to judge our own military resources with which to meet that risk.” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Omar N. Bradley in 1951 to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Learn more about global integration and how it informs decision making for the Chairman and the Secretary of Defense and supports the National Defense Strategy.

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Joint Staff History

On Jan. 26, 1950, the Chairman's positional flag was displayed for the first time in Gen. Omar Bradley's office.

Gen. Bradley, the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led the effort to have a unique flag designed for the position. The shield on the eagle's chest includes 13 stripes representing the 13 original colonies. The blue stripe on top of the shield represents Congress joining the colonies in unity. The eagle holds three gold arrows in its talons for the Army, Navy and Air Force and the four stars represent the position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The placement of the stars on a diagonal line is intended to represent all three services. In Army and Air Force flags, stars are placed in a horizontal center line while in Navy flags, stars are placed in a vertical center line.

Gen Omar Bradley in his office with his Chairman positional flag

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