The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has significant responsibilities with respect to cultural resources in every nation and region where DoD operates, while simultaneously supporting the multiple missions of DoD. Within the U.S., for example, DoD’s historic property portfolio located on military lands includes a total of 73 National Historic Landmarks, 694 entries on the National Register for Historic Places, and more than 16,700 known archaeological sites, approximately 3,200 historic buildings and many more Native American sacred sites and structures. The Department continues to use and maintain some of these prized cultural properties as an integral part of mission support and readiness.

The DoD cultural resources policy mandates compliance with applicable DoD environmental regulations and instructions, U.S. Federal laws and Executive Orders and international laws and treaties with respect to cultural resources in all DoD operations and undertakings. To review these requirements, click the links below:

DoD Cultural Resources Policy and Management Proceses

The DoD serves as steward to tens of thousands of historic buildings, archeological sites… Read more →

Cultural Resources Laws and Treaties

A comprehensive legal regime governs the preservation of historical, cultural and archaeological sites within the United States and… Read more →

Site of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Replacement Facility, to be constructed at Henoko Bay in northeastern Okinawa Prefecture, near Camp Schwab. The project has been delayed due to various concerns, including potential impact to the feeding grounds of an aquatic mammal known as the Okinawan Dugong, which the Japanese government had declared a protected “natural monument” on the Japanese Register of Cultural Properties under Japan’s “Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties.” This designation made the Dugong subject to protection under the 1972 World Heritage Convention and thus required DoD to take certain steps in order to “take into account” potential averse effects to the Dugong that may arise from the undertaking and consider alternatives to minimize or mitigate the adverse effect, pursuant to Section 402 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). DoD’s responsibilities under Section 402 of the NHPA were clarified in a U.S. Federal Court decision in the case known as Okinawa Dugong v. Gates, 543 F. Supp. 2d 1082 (N.D. Cal. 2008). Photo: Kyodo News.