Before Rebranding, The US Dept. of Defense Was Called The “Department of War”

Share this:

Some would say that the old title was more descriptive or honest. The US Department of Defense, which is commonly known as the DoD for short, actually used to be titled more bluntly, “Department of War.”

The name change occurred in the late 1940s. With World War II over, the United Nations was taking steps towards what it hoped would be a lasting peace. In its Charter, the UN outlawed wars of aggression (wars which aren’t fought in defense), and as a result, top US military brass felt the American bureau needed a name, if only for PR reasons.
Above: The official Dept of War seal
So, from 1947 through 1949, Congress adopted a series of laws renaming (and reorganizing) the American national military establishment to a more politically correct naming scheme. Accordingly, the Secretary of War was renamed the Secretary of Defense. Perhaps only one vestige of the old naming scheme remains: the US Army War College in Pennsylvania.

Following suit, several other countries also renamed their war departments around the same time. For example, Great Britain similarly used to have a War Office, which was renamed to the Ministry of Defence in 1963.

Related Posts

Nixon Had a Speech Prepared In Case the Apollo 11 Astronauts Were Stranded ... When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, they made history. But one thing that didn't make history that day wa...
I get (hate)mail For the first time in a long time, I got two emails from readers. One was a very encouraging email from a reader who wanted me to begin posting on thi...
Disney Made a Cartoon About Menstruation Disney has had plenty of controversy in its past, but this hotly debated short film was not one I ever expected to see. In 1946 Disney released a 10...
At One Point in Time, up to 50% of US Dollar Bills Were Estimated to be Cou... The year was 1865, and just months earlier the US Civil War had ended with the surrender of the Confederacy. With the war over, the problem of counter...

Share this: