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The domain name mil is the sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) in the Domain Name System of the Internet for the United States Department of Defense and its subsidiary or affiliated organizations. The name is derived from military. It was one of the first top-level domains, created in January 1985.
The United States is the only country that has a top-level domain for its military, a legacy of the United States' military role in the creation of the Internet. Other countries often use second-level domains for this purpose, e.g., mod.uk for the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence. Canada uses norad.mil with the United States as they jointly operate the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
Although the United States military has its own top-level domain, it still uses com domains for some of its recruitment sites, such as goarmy.com, as well as for the Defense Commissary Agency's public website and most non-appropriated fund instrumentalities such as military MWR organizations and military exchanges. Also, the military uses edu domains for its service academies: the United States Military Academy, United States Coast Guard Academy, United States Naval Academy, and the United States Air Force Academy can all be reached using either an edu or a mil domain. The official athletic program sites of the three academies that are members of NCAA Division I (Army, Navy, Air Force) use com domains. The Department of Defense itself uses gov for its home page, with at least three second-level domains within mil ("defense", "dod", and "pentagon") redirecting to its home page of defense.gov.
The Department of Defense is also using vanity domain names within mil, such as ourmilitary.mil and norad.mil.
The United States Coast Guard uses the mil domain, despite the service being controlled by the United States Department of Homeland Security during statutory peacetime.
- ^ RFC 920, Domain Requirements, J. Postel, J. Reynolds, The Internet Society (October 1984)
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