Our History


Joint Force Headquarters - Department of Defense Information Network


JFHQ-DODIN evolved as a result of a November 2014 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff execution order which directed the subordinate command be established in order to create unity of command and effort for the entirety of DoD’s layered construct used to protect DoD networks, information, and weapon systems.

JFHQ-DODIN achieved initial operational capability on January 15, 2015, and full operational capability on January 22, 2018. On February 26, 2021, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert J. Skinner became the 4th JFHQ-DODIN commander. This is a dual-hat responsibility with the Commander also serving as the Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). Lt. Gen. Skinner had also served as the command’s first deputy director as it stood up in 2014.

Early perspectives about DoD’s information technology centered on creating efficiencies and office automation. Over time, dependence on the DODIN as an operational warfighting capability affirmed that the strength of the DODIN is directly related to risk to mission, risk to forces, and operational outcomes. DoD officials realized that while few, if any, competitors could fight and win a conventional fight with the U.S., they could conduct asymmetric attacks against the DODIN in an attempt to disrupt, deny, and in some cases destroy DODIN-enabled capabilities or corrupt, distort or steal sensitive data and information. Initial focus was to improve the defensive posture on or internal to the DODIN. These initial efforts were characterized as computer network defense and information assurance actions and centered around inspections related to administrative compliance for network changes such as software programs, updates, patches, and technical actions; and relied on individual organizations to decide if, how, and when they would proceed.

As DODIN operations and defense matured at the different tiered layers, it became apparent defensive actions needed to extend beyond the DODIN and should involve an offensive element to establish a comprehensive posture. Together, the need for defensive and offensive capabilities generated debate and decisions about how to approach organizational construct, resourcing, and competence in fighting in the technological space.

These realities—competition in a new environment, persistent and continuous assault, magnitude of the problem, and scope of vulnerability for the U.S.—led DoD to declare cyberspace as an operational domain in 2009. To combat the growing cyber threat, actions to consolidate efforts and processes at the strategic level and in the services, emerged across DoD including establishment of USCYBERCOM under US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and changes in terms of Service cyber components. Trailing the extensive organizational developments and proclamations related to cyberspace as the fifth operational warfighting domain, the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report appeared in February 2010 and a formal DoD cyber strategy naming the new domain as such did not appear until July 2011.

USCYBERCOM’s early years focused on building out the mission areas for defending the nation and support to combatant commands. Although the USSTRATCOM Commander identified the need in 2011, completing the larger full spectrum cyberspace framework came in November 2014, when a new execution order directed the establishment of JFHQ-DODIN as an operational command and control headquarters for the secure, operate, and defend the DODIN mission area. USCYBERCOM became DoD’s tenth combatant command in 2018.