Home » Budget Industry » Document: Pentagon Policy Restricting Public Appearances of Senior Military, Civilian DoD Leaders

Document: Pentagon Policy Restricting Public Appearances of Senior Military, Civilian DoD Leaders

The following is the Department of Defense Jan. 31, 2018 memo, Department of Defense Senior Leader Attendance at Outside Events.

From the Memo:

The Department of Defense will optimize travel to support the Department’s lines of effort: promote efficient use of limited Department resources; and ensure the on-going work of the Department receives appropriate senior leader attention. The Department shall limit participation at outside events by senior officials to one senior military and one senior civilian leader per day per event unless the circumstances warrant greater participation.

Attendance at outside events by personnel below the senior leader level will be determined within each Military Department (MILDEP), Defense agency or organization but will be limited and prioritized as appropriate in accordance with the intent of this policy. Prioritizing the personnel participating in an event is necessary even where it is determined the Government may accept a non-federal organizations offer to pay for some or all of an employee’s travel expenses.

This policy is effective February l, 2018. The offices of the Deputy Chief Management Officer and Director. Joint Staff will disseminate follow-up guidance detailing the reporting and tracking process. Nothing in this memorandum is intended to restrict the MILDEPS from traveling in order to execute the “man, train and equip responsibilities.” “Outside events” are defined in Appendix I of this memo. Senior leadership in the Department is defined as a Presidential Appointee in a Position Requiring Senate Confirmation (PAS) and individuals in a position listed in Appendix II.


Patrick M. Shanahan


For purposes of this memo an outside event includes, but is not limited to, any invitation for a Department of Defense senior official to attend:
(a) in an official capacity. whether presenting information on behalf of the Department or not,
(b) at a conference, forum, roundtable, or similar event with more than one other senior DoD official attending or participating,
(c) that is hosted or sponsored by a non-Federal entity.
(d) and not officially sponsored. co-sponsored or hosted by a DoD component.
“Outside event” does not include a “widely attended gathering” in the local area because, as defined in 5 CFR 2635.204(g). employees attend such events in their personal capacity.


For the purposes of this guidance, senior leadership in the Department is defined as a Presidential Appointee in a Position Requiring Senate Confirmation (PAS) and individuals serving in any of the following positions.

– Chief of Staff, Army
– Commandant of the Marine Corps
– Chief of Naval Operations
– Chief of Staff. Air Force
– Chief, National Girard Bureau
– Commander, Central Command
– Commander, Pacific Command
– Commander, Transportation Command
– Commander, Southern Command
– Commander, Special Operations Command
– Commander, European Command
– Commander, Northern Command
– Commander, Africa Command
– Commander, Strategic Command
– Chief Information Officer of the Department of Defense
– Vice Chief of Staff, Army
– Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps
– Vice Chief of Naval Operations
– Vice Chief of Staff. Air Force
– Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau
– Commander, U .S. Forces Afghanistan
– Commander, U.S. Forces Korea
– Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command
– Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command
– Commanding General, U.S. Army Pacific Command
– Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
– Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program
– Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command
– Commander, U.S. Naval Force Europe and Africa
– Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
– Commander, Air Combat Command
– Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command
– Commander, Air Force Materiel Command
– Commander, Air Force Space Command
– Commander. Air Mobility Commannd
– Commander, Pacific Air Forces
– Commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Africa

  • Paul 2

    The headline “restricting appearances” makes this policy seem negative.

    I see the policy as a positive move, namely in reducing excessive travel costs. I remember seeing unneeded road trips in my Pentagon days.

    • Curtis Conway

      Transparency is necessary, and I hope this is not used to curtail that.

  • kye154

    Well, I think that is wonderful, to keep the contractors from bribing and influencing government officials on government contracts, but on the other hand, that might severely limit what DoD scientists can attend. Then you have those public meetings that DoD officials must attend too, like what is required under CERCLA, or Public Health, etc. ,. The memo is really not clear of what the objective truly is.

    • JohnQTaxPayer66

      For small businesses, many of these conferences are the only way to bring visibility of thier technology to higher levels. Seems like another move that pushes decision makers to back big defense contractor who have the DC footprint to push thier agendas.

      • kye154

        Yes, that could very well be the case too. The big contractors do seem to monopolize everything within DoD and DoE.