US Department of Defense Reviews | Glassdoor

US Department of Defense Reviews

Updated July 23, 2017
1,487 reviews

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3.9
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US Department of Defense Secretary of Defense James Mattis
James Mattis
77 Ratings

1,487 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Lawyers Wanting to Work with Experienced Management Might Want to Think Twice"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Deputy General Counsel in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Associate Deputy General Counsel in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Reputation of the Defense Department and the prestige brought to it by the U.S. military. Good location, in Arlington, not in D.C. Federal government employment has its benefits. Sense that you are involved in an important overall mission.

    Cons

    Heavy politics and favoritism on part of existing leadership of group assigned to, which is inexperienced and lacking in management and leadership ability and so eclipses the reputation of the Defense Department otherwise. Culture is forced. Genuine leadership rarely on display. Not a good place to grow as an attorney and enjoy normal level of camaraderie that are common to lawyers at most legal organizations.

    Advice to Management

    Few genuine attorney leaders within the organization. Not a place that top legal performers should consider, until this leadership vacuum is addressed systemically by bringing in seasoned legal managers to lead and treat their people well. Turnover rate should sound an alarm.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "DOD Employees waste the taxpayers money with incompetance and inability to control contract costs."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Fort Monmouth, NJ
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Fort Monmouth, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Compensation is high if you become one of the in crowd. Benefits are good and job security is unparalleled.

    Cons

    You are surrounded by imcompetant people whose prime goal is to make more moneyh no matter what the expense to the taxpayer. These people also avoid making waves at all costs, even if that means that contractors get paid for delivering nothing.

    Advice to Management

    Stop supporting lack of productivity and dishonest practices that funnel endless taxpayer money to selected contractors. (Boeing, General Dynamics, etc.).

  3. "Horrible Working Conditions..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Professor in Monterey, CA
    Current Employee - Assistant Professor in Monterey, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    medical benefits maybe and i say maybe..even then you're screwed

    Cons

    Horrible working conditions.....horrible food........shared restroom with students....shared office with 4 people.....management is horrible....they treat you like a cattle .....gossip..gossip..gossip....everyone is a pretender....a back stabber

    Advice to Management

    get real.....stop your gossips behind your employees backs..it is ugly


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Slow, wasteful, behind-the-times, and no motivation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at US Department of Defense full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Vacation is actual vacation (most work can't leave the building)
    -Lots of opportunities for travel
    -Possibility of working on some cool stuff

    Cons

    -Much of the stereotypes are true about laziness and lack of consequences for underperformers
    -Everything (even simple tasks) have so much overhead, it will drive you crazy
    -Significantly behind in terms of technology (at least for internal tools)
    -Many decisions are based on looks rather than functionality, so often things don't work
    -The same project is often built in the double digits without any team knowing another exists
    -Performance reviews and advancement is based on writing skills and popularity contests
    -Expect to see your co-workers spend their entire day surfing the web for non-work related purposes
    -They throw money away at an alarming rate but do not have competitive salaries or benefits compared to other companies
    -Parking is a nightmare
    -Expect people to ignore your emails, phone calls, meeting invites, and even desk visits
    -You will not find very many people your own age if you are a recent college grad (at least at work)
    -Many opportunities will not be available for several years as a new hire

    Advice to Management

    -Please remove underperformers, this will save time/money and allow you to hire better talent
    -Actually reading weekly accomplishment reports (that are required to be filed) would be nice
    -Respond to emails, phone calls, meeting invites, desk visits....


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Wasted Opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Antonio, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Antonio, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of Defense full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Access to interesting technologies, excellent retirement, job stability.

    Cons

    Excessive, arbitrary, grinding bureaucracy. Clueless, unnecessary layers of management. Pay significantly below private sector for equivalent position responsibilities. Field personnel under the yoke of a headquarters staffed by people who have a fundamental lack of understanding of conditions in the field and the critical importance of field activities to the agency's mission.

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within. Provide much more relevant training to personnel. Abolish costly and unnecessary all-hands "training" meetings which are really just conferences renamed to skirt around regulations. Abandon the "ivory tower" assumptions that HQ personnel are always right.


  6. "DoD"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Contract Administrator in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Contract Administrator in Philadelphia, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Department of Defense full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Good job security
    - Good benefits
    - Excellent travel ops

    Cons

    - Working with government employees was one of the most eye opening and discouraging experience I have ever had. Coming from the private sector, I could only make it about 6 months before I had to leave. It takes a certain kind of person that enjoys that sort of environment.

    Advice to Management

    Serious house cleaning is needed.


  7. "EA yet to be discovered"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Enterprise Architect in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Enterprise Architect in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of Defense full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Challenging environment: largest, most complex, unstructured systems and fragile infrastructures.

    Cons

    Old generation of IT management layers and political appointees; textbook repeaters, ... etc.

    Advice to Management

    Retire. Make room for next generation.

  8. "Very disappointing. They run 1/4 of the employees into the ground,, the other 3/4's sit all day and collect a paycheck."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Aircraft Engine Mechanic in Oklahoma City, OK
    Former Employee - Aircraft Engine Mechanic in Oklahoma City, OK
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Department of Defense full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The hours are good, benefits and retirement.

    Cons

    Brown nosers that move up. They are unqualified and everybody suffers for it.

    Advice to Management

    Management doesn't take feedback or advice. They are moving up and could care less about the employees or the mission.


  9. "Moral sucking place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Aerospace Inspector in Oklahoma City, OK
    Current Employee - Aerospace Inspector in Oklahoma City, OK
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of Defense full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Plenty of time off, medical cost's reasonable

    Cons

    WG employee's treated like dirt, little or no chance to promote, even with a B.S. degree!

    Advice to Management

    STICK AN ICE PICK IN YOUR HEAD AND WAKE UP! Quit hiring your friends, nepotism is demoralizing.


  10. "Not happy working here. Poor management, lack of emphasis on promoting and retaining talent, not developing new skills."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of Defense full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fair salary, good work/life balance (reasonable hours), good benefits.

    Cons

    Lack of incentives. Incredibly poor management in my department. Many of my co-workers have poor work ethic. The most talented workers are not utilized, and typically move on to other opportunities (as I am trying to do now). Morale is poor overall, lack of creative thinking and organization. Office is not fully utilized. Too much emphasis on veteran's preference, which should be only a tie-breaker, but in reality counts for much more.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize and promote talent, fully utilize your workers. Create incentives, sack inefficient workers and properly reward good ones. Political appointees and former vets/current military personnel wield too much power, are too often promoted or given higher visibility work than career or term civilian personnel.


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