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The Defense Attaché Office (DAO)
April 11, 2018

The Defense Attaché office Berlin is one of the oldest in the Defense Attaché System. The Defense Attaché Office in Germany traces its origin to the establishment of U.S. Military Attachés in the 1880s. Excepting the period during and immediately after the two World Wars (1917-1921 and 1941-1954, respectively) when there was no U.S. diplomatic presence in Germany, there has been a military attaché assigned to Germany since 1880.

The Defense Attaché is the primary military advisor to the Ambassador and Country Team on military issues and developments within Germany. Additionally he represents the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and greater Department of Defense (DoD) elements; plans and coordinates U.S. military activities with the German Armed Forces throughout Germany (including coordination with DoD, Joint Staff, and USEUCOM); observes and reports on German military developments; oversees U.S. military training programs (including Foreign Area Officer in-country training and the Personnel Exchange Programs); and supports DoD and other VIP visits. In addition to the Defense Attaché, this office has a U.S. Navy Captain and an Army & Air Force Colonel who represent their respective service secretary and chief. DAO Berlin has eight military attachés and 5 support staff, with six locally Employed Staff members. The Defense Attaché is a member of the Country Team.

The size of USDAO Berlin is not surprising, as Germany is home to the largest number of DoD personnel outside the United States. Present U.S. troop strength is roughly 80,500 uniformed members. The breakdown is: Army 62,000 (28,000), Air Force 17,100 (13,300), Navy 1,400, and Marine Corps, 100. These numbers do not include family members. Additionally, there are approximately 13,000 DoD civilians in Germany who belong to U.S. European Command or one of its five subordinate component commands (U.S. Army Europe, U.S. Air Forces Europe, U.S. Navy Europe, Fleet Marine Force Europe, and Special Operations Command Europe).

The Combatant Commander, U.S. European Command has appointed the Defense Attaché to be the U.S. Defense Representative (USDR) in Germany. The USDR concept is currently under review by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

Defense Attaché Office
U.S. Embassy
Clayallee 170 (mail)
14195 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0) 30 8305 2461
Fax: +49 (0) 30 8305 2065
Email: usdaoberlin@state.gov

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