Medical and Public Health Law Site
DoD Directives
An image of the Department of Defense seal

Department of Defense


NUMBER 5200.31

September 7, 1983


SUBJECT:  Single Manager for DoD Military Working Dog Program

References: (a)  DoD Directive 6015.5, "Joint Use of Military Health and Medical Facilities and Services," February 5, 1981

(b)  DoD Directive 5000.19, "Policies for the Management and Control of Information Requirements," March 12, 1976


This Directive establishes a single manager for the DoD Military Working Dog (MWD) Program, provides policy, prescribes procedures, and assigns responsibilities.


2.1.  This Directive applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Services, the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Unified and Specified Commands, and the Defense Agencies (hereafter referred to as "DoD Components").  The term "Military Services," as used above, refers to the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps.

2.2.  It also applies to other Federal Agencies that elect to participate in the DoD MWD Program.


Military Working Dogs.  Dogs that are required by the using DoD Component for a specific purpose, mission, or combat capability.  These include scout, sentry, patrol, tracker, narcotic, contraband, explosives, and tunnel detector dogs.  The dogs may be used with or without handlers under policies established by the DoD Component or Federal Agency concerned.


It is DoD policy to operate a DoD MWD Program under a single manager and under uniform policy guidance.


5.1.  The Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy shall provide policy guidance and direction for carrying out the DoD MWD Program.

5.2.  The Secretary of the Air Force, as the single manager of the DoD MWD Program, shall:

5.2.1.  Coordinate with all program participants on the development of uniform procedures and standards.

5.2.2.  Designate a program manager who shall act as the single point of contact for the Department of Defense on all matters pertaining to the training of MWDs and of MWD instructors and handlers and shall provide assistance in these matters to other Federal Agencies.

5.2.3.  Monitor procurement and distribution of MWDs by the DoD Dog Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

5.2.4.  Ensure that all DoD Components using MWDs establish appropriate operational guidance or standards.

5.3.  The Secretary of the Army, under DoD Directive 6015.5 (reference (a)), shall:

5.3.1.  Determine veterinary requirements and provide complete veterinary medical care to the single manager procurement and centralized training program and to all DoD Components participating in the DoD MWD Program.

5.3.2.  Serve as the DoD veterinary consultant for MWD health, physical standards, training methods, training standards, kennel design, research, procurement, and acceptance policies as they pertain to the well-being of the MWDs.

5.3.3.  Provide training to MWD handlers on first-echelon veterinary medical care of MWDs to include nuclear, biological, and chemical protection.

5.4.  The Heads of the DoD Components shall:

5.4.1.  Plan, program, and budget for their participation in the DoD MWD Program.

5.4.2.  Designate functional managers for their participation in the DoD MWD Program, who also shall serve as the DoD Component representative to the MWD Committee (section 7., below).

5.4.3.  Provide copies of MWD operational guidance or standards to the Air Force program manager.

5.4.4.  Consistent with the policies of DoD Directive 5000.19 (reference (b)), provide timely requirements data to the Air Force program manager to facilitate effective centralized procurement and training actions.

5.4.5.  Provide to the Air Force program manager a listing of all activities requiring MWD drug training aids.

5.4.5.  Provide to the Army Veterinary Corps a list of deployment or mobilization requirements to ensure the availability of veterinary services.

5.5.  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) shall provide to the Department of the Army Veterinary Corps annually an updated list of projected JCS exercises.


The Air Force program manager shall:

6.1.  Establish required training programs for MWDs, instructors, and handlers.

6.2.  Develop standard MWD operational guidance and make such guidance available to the DoD Components and other Federal Agencies participating in the DoD MWD Program.

6.3.  Obtain current information from the MWD training facility regarding DoD MWD authorizations and utilization to ensure the ready availability of MWD when the need arises.

6.4.  Develop servicing agreements with all DoD MWD Program participants, including Federal Agencies.


The Air Force program manager shall chair the MWD Committee, which shall:

7.1.  Consist of a representative from each of the DoD Components that use MWDs.

7.2.  Meet at least annually or at the call of the chair.

7.3.  Review programs, consider changes, and resolve problems as they arise.


This Directive is effective immediately.  Forward one copy of implementing documents to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy within 120 days.

Signed by: Paul Thayer, Deputy Secretary of Defense