Tasks and Responsibilities
First paragraph of the articleTasks and Responsibilities
Within the Federal Government, the Ministry of Defence is responsible for military defence as well as all matters concerning the Bundeswehr. It is the supreme military command authority as well as the supreme authority of the Bundeswehr administration.
Since December 2013, Ursula von der Leyen has been the head of the Ministry of Defence. In addition to her political responsibility, she is the commander in chief of the armed forces in peacetime.
She is the highest-ranking superior of all soldiers as well as their highest-ranking disciplinary superior. At the same time, she is the head of the Bundeswehr administration and thus also the superior of all civilian employees of the Bundeswehr and the ministry.
In the area of parliament and politics, the minister is represented by two Parliamentary State Secretaries.
Two Permanent State Secretaries assist her in performing technical control of the ministry and in exercising command authority. The Chief of Defence provides advice on military matters. He is the highest-ranking soldier and responsible for the overall armed forces concept.
The executive level consists of the Executive Staff, the Press and Information Office and the Organisation and Internal Audit Staff. The Executive Staff organises the day-to-day work of the minister. They prepare meetings and appointments and coordinate the cooperation with government and parliament. The Executive Staff comprises the Minister's Office, her Military Assistants’ Office, the Parliament and Cabinet Liaison Branch, and Protocol.
The Press and Information Office coordinates the ministry's media activities. They inform the media and the public about the Bundeswehr and German security and defence policy. The Director of the Press and Information Office is dual-hatted as the FMoDFederal Ministry of Defence spokesperson. The Organisation and Internal Audit Staff supports the Executive Group in matters of Bundeswehr structure and organisation. As the central point of contact, they bring together all organisational and structural affairs at the military and civilian level.
Directorates-General and Agencies
A total of 2000 staff members work at the official seats of the ministry in Berlin and Bonn. The ministry is structured into directorates-general and branches. A total of ten directorates-general coordinate and carry out tasks in various areas such as policy, equipment, planning, legal affairs and personnel. Furthermore, six agencies are directly and administratively subordinate to the ministry. These include the Bundeswehr Aviation Office, the Bundeswehr Office for Defence Planning and the Bundeswehr Joint Forces Operations Command.