DOD DIRECTIVE 5210.56 ARMING AND THE USE OF FORCE (18 NOV 2016)
Purpose: This issuance:
• Establishes policy and standards and assigns responsibilities for arming, carrying of
firearms, and the use of force by DoD personnel performing security and protection,
law and order, investigative, or counterintelligence duties; and for personal protection
when related to the performance of official duties.
• Establishes policy and standards and assigns responsibilities for contractor personnel
required to carry a firearm in accordance with applicable DoD contracts.
• Implements Section 1585 of Title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.), which authorizes
civilian officers and employees of the DoD to carry firearms or other appropriate
weapons while assigned investigative duties or such other duties as prescribed by the
Secretary of Defense.
• Provides requirements, authorizations, and restrictions on carrying firearms and the
use of force to protect DoD installations, property, and personnel, and to enforce law
and order in accordance with DoD Instruction (DoDI) 5200.08 and DoD 5200.08-R.
• Implements Section 2672 of Title 10, U.S.C., Section 926A of Title 18, U.S.C., and
Section 526 of Public Law 114-92 (“the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 2016”), and authorizes DoD Components to arm DoD personnel qualified under
Sections 926B and 926C of Title 18, U.S.C., when related to the performance of official
• Provides guidance for permitting the carrying of privately owned firearms on DoD
property by DoD personnel for personal protection purposes that are not associated
with the performance of official duties.